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Mystery lights, finally explained

Several people have e-mailed us about those light poles that have popped up on strategic spots along West Seattle arterials — two round lights and a solar panel — wondering what they are for. We hadn’t gotten around to checking with SDOT or WSDOT yet but Ty has saved us the trouble (thank you!) — he says at least one of them now has a sign saying “ALASKAN WAY VIADUCT CLOSED WHEN FLASHING.” Great idea! (Will they add a second sign beneath saying “so don’t bother leaving West Seattle right now, k?”)

Upzone uproar, the next discussion

upzonescreengrab.jpgIt’s the hottest topic on WSB since the now-legendary “West Seattle Dishes to Die For” — 85 comments and new ones every day — so we’re thinking you might be interested in the next chance for an in-person discussion of the upzoning proposal on California between Hanford and Hinds (and a little further south, on the west side of the street, as shown on the city map @ left): Tomorrow night, you’re invited to the monthly meeting of the Admiral Neighborhood Association, 7 pm tomorrow at Admiral Congregational Church (California/Hill, map here). The ANA’s last meeting brought the first word of full details on this proposal, so who knows what you’ll hear if you drop by tomorrow night!

More proof this ain’t your grandma’s West Seattle

Or maybe even your mom’s. Back when we moved here in the early ’90s, really not THAT long ago, we lamented that we would have liked to do more shopping in The Junction, but everything seemed to close so early — “rolling up the sidewalks,” as the small-town saying goes. holidaypresent.jpgNot these days, and here’s the latest proof: Coinciding with this Thursday night’s West Seattle Art Walk in The Junction is “Wrap It Up,” with participating stores open well into the night for holiday-shopping fun. And it’s not just The Junction that will be jumping — on the north side of West Seattle, we’ve heard from more shops planning to be open late on Thursday, including WSB sponsor Click! Design That Fits and Shanti in the Admiral District, and along Avalon, Murphy’s Furniture Studio has an event planned Thursday night for late-night shopping while raising money for GambiaHELP. All in all, Thursday’s a good night to spend your $ where you live. Here’s the “Wrap It Up” flyer listing Junction participants, by the way:Read More

Nucor crane permits: A hearing, after all

A new development three weeks after we first wrote about Nucor‘s application for permits to upgrade a crane. When we first heard about it, thanks to an eagle-eyed WSB reader, time for public comment was already running out, and a note on the public posting said a hearing would be scheduled only if there was “significant public interest.” Looks like somebody subsequently expressed that level of interest; Trissa just e-mailed WSB (thank you!) with word that a public hearing is now set for January 9 @ Alki Community Center (more details here), plus a note that the time for public comment has been extended to January 14 (more on that here). We’ll add both dates shortly to our ever-growing West Seattle-wide Events page.

Reader report: 3425 California fire follow-up

firefighterscropped.jpgExcerpted from what Mark just wrote in the comments below our original report on the small fire that closed California for a while Sunday morning:

I was visiting with several residents at the Admiral Plaza Condominium … At one point I was a resident there and am familiar with many of the neighbors. Apparently a less than competent owner on the courtyard level fell asleep with a cigarette in hand. It was his next-door neighbor, an RN who just happened to be home on a Sunday, that detected smoke odor and pounded on his door. After what seemed like an eternity he answered, disheveled; smoke was apparent and she immediately called the fire department. … The victim sought shelter with the assistance of the Red Cross in a W. Seattle motel. … It was by God's grace and Maggie the RN's quick thinking that prevented what might have been a disaster. Most of the damage appeared to be limited to his one-bedroom unit.

Don’t throw another log on the fire

The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency just implemented a burn ban throughout King County (and Pierce and Snohomish) – so no fires unless that’s your only way of staying warm. Here’s what the burn ban means, and why it was called.

“West Seattle Art Attack” strikes again

What a night last night turned out to be — not just because of the Christmas Ship, but also because “West Seattle Art Attack” and accompanying elves (explanation and background here if you need it) struck again. Here are a few of the pix that arrived with the WSAA communique:




A dose of prevention is worth a pound of cure

Quick reminder that the county Public Health Department‘s free flu-shot clinic in West Seattle is happening today: 10 am-2 pm, Delridge Community Center.

Reader report: Gas station smashup

December 9, 2007 12:26 am
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 |   Crime | West Seattle news

From Chris (thank you!):

I visited the gas station/convenience store at 35th and Barton earlier today, and the front wall of the store had been smashed in. The owner said it was a car sometime in the night, probably stolen. The store was open and he had a crew there making repairs, so I guess the business won’t be interrupted, but it must be costing him quite a lot of money.

We’ll go over to have a look in the morning.

West Seattle Farmers’ Market: What’s fresh this week

December 8, 2007 6:16 pm
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 |   West Seattle Farmers' Market | West Seattle news

This time of year, ours is one of only two Farmers’ Markets still running in the whole city – we’re lucky! And it’s continuing on into the winter (in January it will switch to a slightly shorter schedule, 11 am-2 pm, but right now, it’s still 10 am-2 pm). Here’s the latest “fresh sheet” from the Farmers’ Market organizers:Read More

Branching out

December 8, 2007 8:01 am
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 |   Seen around town | Transportation | West Seattle news


Seen along 35th yesterday — some of the volunteer arborists pruning street trees.

Our Lady of Guadalupe lights its tree

December 7, 2007 10:49 pm
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 |   Holidays | West Seattle news | West Seattle video

Along 35th, across the street from the highest point in the city, Our Lady of Guadalupe celebrated its annual Christmas tree lighting tonight. Here’s Father Jack Walmesley with the countdown:

And here’s the crowd singing “Jingle Bells,” jingling car keys in lieu of bells:

In case you missed it last weekend, here’s our video from the lighting of the West Seattle Community Christmas Tree in The Junction. (And we’ll be posting a wider photo of the OLG tree shortly as our Christmas lights pic of the night.)

Damage from the deluge? Report it soon

December 7, 2007 2:06 pm
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 |   December 2007 flooding | West Seattle news | West Seattle weather

(26th/Juneau photo by Kristin, originally posted Monday)
From the city and county, via the North Delridge Neighborhood Council: If you suffered flood damage from the Sunday/Monday deluge, be sure to call 800-523-5044 as soon as possible — local governments are trying to get an accurate picture of how much damage was done, for reasons including helping the federal government decide whether to make low-interest loans and other types of aid available. The hotline’s answered 7 am-7 pm daily; if you have trouble getting through, you also can report damage online. Also, if you need help clearing storm-related debris, you can call the city @ 206-684-3000 to find out how to get assistance.

Chilling way to call attention to global warming

Just out of the WSB inboxSustainable West Seattle and friends are suggesting you jump in the Sound! But not till tomorrow afternoon. That’s when climate-change activists are inviting you to meet at the Alki Bathhouse for a polar-bear swim to raise awareness about global warming, and in particular, the climate talks under way right now in Bali, as well as “the importance of this issue during the upcoming elections, and … the danger posed to the Arctic ecosystem (and its polar bears!) from the rapidly melting ice caps,” according to organizer Kristin Wheeler, who also says, “We will taking pictures and making ‘holiday cards’ for Congressman Reichert (the only W. WA member of Congress not doing what he should be doing for the planet!) beforehand and then we will plunge at 12:30 pm.” Kristin also says the nearby Tully’s is donating coffee to be provided to the chilled warming-fighters immediately afterward. It’s part of a national day of action; more info here. (That link asks the question “Have you invited local politicians to your plunge?” — hmm, given his activism on the issue, you suppose Mayor Nickels will walk down the hill to take part?) The weather tomorrow should be clear and bright (and cool!), by the way. This will be added to our Events page shortly as well as the forthcoming West Seattle Weekend Lineup list.

West Seattle crime watch: Several items of note

(2:35 PM NOTE – even if you read this earlier be sure to scroll down, we have added one more recent report) ORIGINAL POST: First – the broken window at Puerto Vallarta in The Junction remains a mystery, according to the folks we talked to at the restaurant:

They told WSB they just came in one day a few days ago, and it was broken. You’ll recall, nearby Northwest Art & Frame suffered a similar break just after Halloween.

Meanwhile, several things that WSB readers wanted to call to community attention. First, this just out of the inbox within the hour:

Not sure if this is peeper-related (I’m guessing it is), but my husband came home late last night at 1 am (Thursday) and reported police combing the area with dogs at 49th and Charlestown (the location of the last peeper spotting). The search didn’t seem frantic (no chasing) – just like a patrol or something. I can’t find any other details – but thought I would throw it out there to see if you knew anything more.

We also have this report of something that happened last Saturday night:

Last night there was an attempted break-in of our home at 5600 block of 48th Ave SW. We managed to scare him off by turning on light and yelling. He was pushing on door and jiggling handle. He is wise to have left as I was prepared to shoot him upon entry. He had short hair possibly shaven and was wearing a vinyl jacket and jeans. 911 was called and a report was filed. Officer told us a few others had reported a man walking through their yard. Please be on alert.

And from the far south side of West Seattle, another reader who didn’t want to be identified wrote over the weekend (lost amidst the weather coverage, but we are catching up now):

In looking at the blog crime section, I thought it might be worth a post that there may be a trend developing of attempted or successful home break-ins in a several block area around 35th Ave SW and SW 106th Street. I am aware of two that were completed burglaries and one attempted break-in, occurring since mid-September up to a few days ago. Two happened during daylight hours when the occupants were away.

ADDED 2:40 PM: Stephanie originally sent this in last Sunday night and just reminded us (please forgive us) we hadn’t posted it:

I wrote you not more than a few days ago in regards to a car break in of my neighbors. Well, the criminals have gotten greedier. One of the people whose car was broken in to now had their apartment broken in to. The criminals broke a bedroom window and stole some high priced items. This was pretty bold because I was home as was another neighbor and we didn’t hear the glass break.

I find this very troubling because locks don’t seem to be enough. What will it take….. metal bars?????

Grrrr I am so upset for my neighbors and for the community of Delridge. Is there any sort of block watch along Delridge?

As we noted when posting Stephanie’s previous report, she lives north of the Home Depot area. We referred her to the Seattle Police crime-prevention resources including this huge list. And for everyone, our standard caveat: Always report suspicious activity to Seattle Police. Always. Even if it seems like nothing can be done, or nothing is/was done, having the incident(s) on record can help them identify trends, deploy resources, etc. And keep WSB posted on what’s happening in your neighborhood, good as well as bad, so we all can be watching out for each other as much as possible.

Parking restrictions, explained

Val e-mailed us to ask about the “no parking” signs along a stretch of 35th. This city press release explains what it’s all about: Arborists will be out tomorrow volunteering their time to prune “street trees” in several areas of the city — in West Seattle, along 35th between Holden and Alaska.

Free flu shots in West Seattle this weekend

December 6, 2007 6:52 am
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 |   West Seattle news

The county Public Health Department wants to make sure you know about this: Sunday, 10 am-2 pm, first-come, first-served, free flu shots @ Delridge Community Center.

Two more flood footnotes

December 5, 2007 11:55 pm
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 |   December 2007 flooding | West Seattle news

This P-I article has a cool map at the end showing that West Seattle got more rain in the big storm than most other parts of the city.

-One more update on the “Allstar car” — Ty Hammond caught it “on the move” tonight, hours after its owner told WSB about its impending tow:


From the owner of the Delridge Deluge icon

(photo by Lea Kuchan) In case you don’t go back to comments on day-old posts – we wanted to highlight this comment just left on our followup about the now-famous car swamped in the Allstar Fitness parking lot during Monday’s megadownpour:

I am the somewhat sad and soon to be past owner of this car. It is indeed being totaled by my insurance – they say that they are liable if they fix it and something happens. Happily, I am aware of the folks who get ripped off by having totaled cars get reconditioned and sold. I have arranged for it to be towed to a salvage yard, and scrapped out for body parts. The bad karma will end with me.

Thanks for your support, though. I feel privileged to have such supportive neighbors.


Another megaproject on the brink of beginning to build


The lot behind Petco in The Junction isn’t closed to parking yet but it’s apparently on the brink (the folks in the store are also waiting to hear when) – so suggests the sign on the fence, shown in our photo above; it discusses other parking options, and advises Petco shoppers to get store workers to help them with big items, and of course it also talks about the project coming to that site: Mural, which is the second project on this page at the site of its developers, Harbor Properties (side note, a power permit for the construction project was just granted). Petco, you may recall, wants to move to a new future building at the Charlestown Cafe site; things on that front have been publicly quiet (city project page here) since the last Design Review Board meeting four months ago (our detailed report is here, and it includes links to all the background).

The frame that followed the flames

December 5, 2007 6:16 am
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 |   Crime | Development | West Seattle fires | West Seattle news


(above photo by WSB contributing photographer Christopher Boffoli) North of The Junction, reconstruction is back in high gear at 4132 California, the live/work units (city project page here; developers’ project page here) that were under construction when a huge early-morning fire (below photo by Garrett Burke) destroyed the project August 17th. Investigators declared it arson but so far as we know have never made an arrest (hotline for tips: 800-55-ARSON).


Burned-out ex-Schuck’s nears the end

We all got excited October 12 when, the day after the demolition permit was granted, the ex-Schuck’s at California/Charlestown started showing some signs of impending activity. Then … nothing, till a construction permit for the replacement project was issued last Friday, and today, we got a reader tip (thank you!) that takedown crews were on scene … WSB contributing photographer Christopher Boffoli went over for a look and reports, “… the entire interior is indeed gutted and the front windows are blown out. Looks like they went through the interior with a bobcat tractor [see second photo]. The north parking lot was full of burned-up debris.”



Drying out: The icon of the Delridge Deluge

Remember this much-photographed car, under water yesterday outside Allstar Fitness? (photo by Lea Kuchan)

We found it again today. Our camera-equipped team member reports (shock) it’s full of mud. But all in one piece!