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“Micropermitting” site now has a name

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The teardowns-to-townhouses complex going up in the 3400 block of California now has a name: Madison Heights, per the new sign shown above (which promises “luxury living”). This is what used to be there:

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It’s one of the sites discussed in this “micropermitting” post that got citywide attention. P.S. Slightly north of this site, in case you were wondering, no decision yet in the Hinds-to-Hanford “upzoning” proposal.

Saving Fauntleroy Schoolhouse: 3 months to make a plan

schoolhousefoto.jpgThey’re not ready to ask for your money yet – but they’re asking for ideas, and optimism. Board members of the Fauntleroy Community Services Agency convened a community meeting last night to lay out where things stand with Seattle Public Schools decision to sell Fauntleroy Schoolhouse (one of five former schools now declared “surplus”) and FCSA’s hope of buying it — and it’s going to be a challenge, to say the least:Read More

West Seattle Crime Watch: Still fairly quiet

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First, a photo – this one from Mac, who asked this Seattle Police traffic officer for permission to take his picture – he obliged, then wished Mac a “good day” before zooming off to write a ticket. Not too much else happening in police-land according to our most recent review of reports at the Southwest Precinct:Read More

Park-strategy plan’s out – now it’s your turn to review it

March 26, 2008 7:11 pm
|    Comments Off on Park-strategy plan’s out – now it’s your turn to review it
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle parks

We told you March 10 about another round of city Parks Department public meetings heading this way to gather thoughts on the new Strategic Action Plan, developed after the first round of meetings (WSB coverage here) late last year. The draft plan is online (here), and that’s not all:Read More

The big picture: Junction/”Triangle” development at a glance


View Larger Map

With BlueStar‘s announcement today of Gateway Center (earlier WSB coverage here), seemed like a good excuse to put together a clickable map of what’s been announced in the area so far. Each spot on the map will click to a brief description of what’s happening there plus a link to our most recent report about it, if applicable. We added some of the real estate that’s up for sale in the area. Certainly more parcels than this are in play (lots more ex-Huling/Gee land, for example), but this is a start. We’ll add to it as it goes and find it a home of its own soon, but here’s version 1.0.

Another Alki restaurant site listed for sale (at least, its building)

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We broke the news here 2 1/2 weeks ago about the Homestead being up for sale (the business, not the building). Today while researching West Seattle development/real estate for an upcoming update on this morning’s Gateway Center announcement, we happened onto this: The Duke’s on Alki building, described as “10-year lease to Duke’s Chowder House on the main two floors plus unique penthouse,” listed at $3,950,000. Just left a message at Duke’s HQ to see if we can find out more. THURSDAY EVENING UPDATE: Got a message back from Duke Moscrip himself; he stresses, THE RESTAURANT IS NOT FOR SALE – just the building. Duke’s, he says, is expanding its “concept” to more locations elsewhere (and in fact, a liquor-license application has just been filed for the Southcenter location he mentioned) but is not selling the actual Alki restaurant, just the building.

Coyote sighting in Upper Fauntleroy

“West Seattle 101” author Lori Hinton just saw one running down her Upper Fauntleroy street. “Right past a ‘Coyote Warning’ sign,” she adds. (By the way, we will add two more pages tomorrow to our new “West Seattle 101” section featuring selections from Lori’s book – including a spotlight on one of WSB readers’ favorite restaurants – look for the official announcement in the morning.)

West Seattle locksmith arson victim’s sign of thanks

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As reported here Monday night, Puget Sound Key and Lock owner Michael Dein said at the fundraiser organizing meeting that he would affirm his rebuilding promise by putting up this banner – and today, we got the photographic proof. (If the text isn’t entirely clear on your browser, it says “Thank you, West Seattle, for your love and support/WE ARE REBUILDING/Donations can be made at Wells Fargo Bank to Puget Sound Key and Lock Fund.” That, of course, is the donation account set up by the WSB Forum members who are planning the fundraiser – date and place still being worked out – if you want to get involved, check out this forum thread – organizers also are looking for auction items. Meantime, still no word from police on arrests or big breaks in last Friday morning’s arson, but it’s a priority for the Arson and Bomb unit; if you have any information, call 911 or the arson hotline (800-55-ARSON).

Happening tonight: Future of Fauntleroy Schoolhouse

March 26, 2008 11:52 am
|    Comments Off on Happening tonight: Future of Fauntleroy Schoolhouse
 |   Neighborhoods | West Seattle history | West Seattle news

On the night the Seattle School Board votes on a new “surplus property” policy, the Fauntleroy Community Association invites everyone interested in the future of one of those properties, the Fauntleroy Schoolhouse, to gather there tonight, 6:30-8 pm, The Hall @ Fauntleroy.

Breaking news: BlueStar to build on ex-Huling showroom site

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This just in from BlueStar (which also provided the rendering shown above – we’re heading out for a different angle on the existing building so you can better compare the before/after):

BlueStar Management, Inc., of Shoreline, Washington announced today plans for “Gateway Center,” a mixed-use project to be developed on a one-acre site at the northeast corner of Fauntleroy Way and SW Alaska St. (adjacent to 39th Avenue SW).

The site is directly across the street (39th Ave. SW) from Fauntleroy Place, another BlueStar Management, Inc. project set to break ground in May, 2008. Fauntleroy Place will feature Whole Foods Market, Hancock Fabrics and 170 apartment homes.

BlueStar is also the developer of Spring Hill, a mixed-use development at the 5000 block of California Ave. S.W. in West Seattle, which is currently in the permitting phase.

Preliminary plans for Gateway Center include more than 100 residential units along with 47,000 square feet of commercial space on two floors. Marketing for the commercial space is underway.

Gateway Center Fast Facts*:

-6-Story building (four floors of living space above two levels of commercial)
-3 floors of underground parking (250 individual stalls)
-100+ residential units
-47,000 sq. ft. of total retail
-Construction is anticipated to begin in late 2009
-Completion expected in early 2011
-Commercial leasing is available now!
-Contact for leasing – Robert Mitchell, Associate Broker, 206-455-1165

*(subject to change)

ADDED 10:20 AM: The logo on the rendering is for Collins Woerman, which is also the current architect on Fauntleroy Place (here’s BlueStar’s page for that project). If you haven’t read before about Spring Hill, which is also mentioned in BlueStar’s press release above, here’s our most recent coverage. We’re now working on a “roundup of announced West Seattle megaprojects” to post later today, since it’s now getting to be almost difficult even for us to keep up with, and we track ’em (among other news) for a living!

Semi-secret shows of the year: Eddie Vedder @ Kenyon Hall

kenyonhall.jpgThanks to Greg for pointing out the Pearl Jam message board thread on this. Not like we travel in rock ‘n’ roll circles or anything, so it’s news to us and maybe to you too: West Seattle’s Most Famous Musician, Eddie Vedder, played Kenyon Hall (35th just south of Kenyon) the last two nights. The fans are particularly abuzz about the limited-edition poster (you can see it here; also, somebody’s already selling one on eBay).

From our food banks: Boss bidding; nutritionist needed

First, The Boss – it’s been mentioned here before but time’s almost up: Bid on two tickets to see Bruce Springsteen Saturday and get into the E Street Lounge – proceeds benefit the West Seattle Food Bank. Bidding ends 6 pm tomorrow (Wednesday); place your bid here. Second, the other food bank that serves WS, the White Center Food Bank, has a sudden need for a nutritionist – WCFB boss Rick Jump e-mailed WSB looking for one who can volunteer Wednesday mornings:

I have just learned that our current nutritionists are unable to continue the cooking classes at the WCFB. … Cooking demos are held Wednesday mornings from spproximately 10 am to 11 am. Volunteers take product from the food bank, develop a nutritious recipe & type it out, demonstrate how to prepare it and then offer clients a sample to taste. This program has been extremely popular with our clients. A current food-handlers permit is required. Volunteers may volunteer one or more days per month. Interested persons should contact Rick Jump at 206.762.2848 or by e-mail at rjump_wcfb (at) yahoo.com.

When we interviewed Jump for this video feature on WCFB, he told a great success story about those recipe demonstrations — how the nutritionists managed to take an unpopular donation of figs and turn it into a smash hit by creating a granola recipe. You can be the next creative chef to follow in their food-steps.

California/Alaska/42nd project: Local leaders meet developers

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Spent the lunch hour today at a gathering in The Junction where reps from Conner Homes — developers of the upcoming buildings @ California/Alaska/42nd (city map above) — met local leaders, to start keeping their promise of making the rounds to talk about the megaproject, and to listen:Read More

Next step for West Seattle Walking Trails

walkmapgrab.jpgWe first told you one month ago about the West Seattle Walking Trails project, as the map was made public for comment — now, Chas Redmond e-mails to say it’s time for the next step, development of wayfinding kiosks — and today, there’s a call for artists. Read on:Read More

2 new education businesses in West Seattle

Two announcements to share with you – one for a new Spanish-language preschool, another for a new tutoring service that addresses attention-span issues as well as conventional tutoring and ESL work – full details ahead:Read More

Update: Power outage (and lengthy repairs) explained

citylight.jpgWe have new information on last night’s power outage – which, as discussed in comments on the original report, continued well into the night for some. City Light spokesperson Scott Thomsen explains repairs were particularly difficult: “The outage started Monday about 6:50 p.m. when a car crash near the corner of 4th Avenue and 96th Street took out two utility poles. In addition to the downed lines, the damage involved four or five transformers. Repair crews had to replace both poles, the transformers and rework the overhead lines for the street. Power was routed around the damage to restore service to as many customers as possible. We still have 51 customers without power while the crews are hanging the last of the new overhead lines. We expect full restoration about noon.” 4th/96th is in unincorporated King County (here’s a map) but still within City Light territory.

So you wanna be a star? Two new things to try

First: C & P Coffee is hosting an April Fool’s talent show – no foolin’! – 6-8 pm 4/1, to support Gatewood Elementary. Families welcome; sign up at C & P or click to e-mail. Second: Twelfth Night Productions is kicking off opening night of its next play, “Deathtrap,” with a Dyan Cannon lookalike contest. (The former West Seattleite turned movie star, previously known as Diane Friesen (Miss West Seattle Hi-Yu 1955!), starred in the movie version in the early ’80s. From that same era – since we couldn’t find a free-use photo of her, we found this early ’80s YouTube clip (a tiny bit risque’) of Cannon with TV legend Johnny Carson:

Back to the lookalike contest – it’s planned for 7:15 pm Friday, “Deathtrap” opening night @ Youngstown Arts Center. How to enter, you ask? From the Twelfth Night announcement:

To enter the contest, please e-mail a photo of you as Dyan Cannon, as well as your name, age, phone number and e-mail address to Twelfth Night Productions, janeatay (at) msn.com. Both men and women are encouraged to apply.

The contest winner will be awarded the title “Miss West Seattle of 1955 of 2008.”

Happening tonight: Denny music benefit

March 25, 2008 6:55 am
|    Comments Off on Happening tonight: Denny music benefit
 |   How to help | West Seattle news | West Seattle schools

Starting at 4 pm, Endolyne Joe’s in Fauntleroy donates part of tonight’s proceeds to the Denny Middle School music program (featured here with video during its first-ever midwinter-break camp). Choir and band performances are promised, to serenade you during supper!

Locksmith arson victim: “We WILL rebuild and reopen”

So vowed Puget Sound Key and Lock owner Michael Dein when we talked with him briefly during the WSB Forum members’ gathering tonight at Beveridge Place Pub to plan a fundraiser. That’s him at left:

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He says they’re going to hang a banner outside the store marking their promise to return, though it may take a couple months – he says the building owner promises to rebuild the interior, but they need to replace a lot of equipment and other supplies that “melted” in the fire, and as we first reported hours after the Friday morning arson, they have no fire insurance. That’s why WSB’ers are organizing a benefit – below, a different angle of part of the group – that’s “JoB” second from right (forgive us for not gathering everyone’s names; we had to rush off to check out the outage that someone had just texted us about) – the group was about a dozen strong when we stopped by:

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JoB reports:

The consensus of the meeting is that we will have a combination raffle/social event sometime mid-April. The time and date will be determined by space availability … Our first choice is a tournament at West Seattle Bowl… But we will have to see what we can make work.

Next meeting is 10 am Saturday at Uptown Espresso, and even if you weren’t there tonight, you’re invited to pitch in and help. (Follow the discussion here.) Meantime, the Seattle Police Arson and Bomb Squad is still working to solve the firebombing; we talked with police spokesperson Mark Jamieson this evening and he had nothing new to report, just reiterating that the case is “a priority” and police want to hear from anyone with tips (call 911 or the arson hotline @ 800/55-ARSON).

Reminder: Meeting tonight to plan benefit for arson victims

March 24, 2008 5:29 pm
|    Comments Off on Reminder: Meeting tonight to plan benefit for arson victims
 |   Crime | West Seattle fires | West Seattle news

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Three days after the arson that did $90,000 damage to Puget Sound Key and Lock (Friday photo above) and adjacent businesses, no word yet of any big breaks in the case (just checked with Seattle police), but tonight WSB Forum members are gathering – 7 pm, Beveridge Place Pub – to plan a benefit for the arson victims, primarily the locksmith business owner, Michael Dein, who had no fire insurance, as we reported hours after the fire. WSB’ers have already proven they can do great things – and lots of ideas and people-power are needed. Even if you can’t be there in person, a reminder – an account is set up and donations can be made at any Wells Fargo Bank branch, account #5358011681. 7:50 PM UPDATE: Dropped into BPP very briefly to get pix and check on the gathering – about a dozen people were there and they had a plan outlined within minutes – Michael Dein was there too and told WSB he’s definitely rebuilding and reopening, and heartened by the outpouring of support. Full report on this later after we hear the final outcome of the meeting.

Q from Councilmember Rasmussen: Viaduct-closure effects?

So how did the weekend closure of The Viaduct affect you? City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, a fellow West Seattleite, wants to know — as he works with the city Transportation Department to make sure WS is a priority with all the transportation planning that’s under way now. Among other things, he’s wondering – did you find yourself in one of the backups that happened even with all the advance warning? Did you get enough advance warning – and/or enough warning while it was happening (the warning lights, signs, etc.)? What alternate routes did you find yourself using? Did you have to change your plans or drop plans because of the shutdown? Anything else you want to say about it — don’t hold anything back! Post comments here.

Still keeping vigil

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After the reported U.S. death toll in Iraq reached 4,000, we checked to see if the residents of this house across from Lincoln Park (previously noted here and here) were still keeping vigil — they are, with the U.S. injury toll as a second number.

Crime Watch reader reports: Brazen taggers; gas siphoning

Two Three West Seattle Crime Watch reader reports to share — as discussed elsewhere, primarily in the interest of all of us watching out for each other. First from Erik in Westwood:

My neighbor’s house just got vandalized. Their fence was tagged by graffiti vandals at 8:15 tonight at the corner of 16th and Trenton in plain view right across from a street lamp. I scared the vandals away (before I got their license plate! D’oh!) but called 911 and the police took a report and were circling the block. I think other neighbors should be aware of this, and I think it’s worth sharing the “tip” that I should have gotten the license number before scaring them away. Keep an eye out for a red Mazda or Toyota with three vandals out looking for property to destroy and property values to drop.

ADDED MONDAY MORNING: This one from Shannon may be related:

There was a lot of tagging going on behind our townhouses on 18th Ave SW near Barton. We didn’t see it happen and, surprisingly, our dogs didn’t bark but we saw flashing lights when the police officer arrived. The vandals tagged our fences and a van parked in the lot of the apartments across the alley with the “M13” gang sign. The neighbor who reported it said they were driving a white car. His daughter saw them and he ran outside. When he did run outside, they drove away quickly before he could get their plates.

Just wanted everyone to be on the lookout. The officer says this is a known gang sign but, for some reason he didn’t make very clear, he believed it was a fake… not that he had any evidence that it was a fake he just said he had a “feeling” it was a fake. Needless to say, that didn’t make any of us feel any better.

(back to the original Sunday night post) And from Dunsany:

Last night, someone broke the lock off my gas cap and siphoned my tank. We’re in Highland Park near 12th and Holden. Savages, I only had maybe 5 gallons in the tank. I hope it was worth it.

Remember, police stress that if you see someone or something suspicious NOW, call 911. If you want to report something that happened some time ago, the non-emergency number is 625-5011.