West Seattle, Washington
According to a blurb
currently atop this news site that was atop a news site for a while, Ã‚Â “a man has barricaded himself inside an apartment” and that’s what’s going on along 35th (see below).
This is the usual greeting over the loudspeaker from the Christmas Ship as it arrives at one of its stops, blazing with light, serenading everyone on shore with live Christmas songs from performers on board. And this is the big weekend for our part of town. Here’s hoping the weather won’t be too bad. First, on Saturday, the Christmas Ship (and whichever boats choose to accompany it) will pull up to Seacrest Pier at 5:15 pm, with Northwest Girlchoir Vivace performing. Then it goes back downtown to swap out choirs; with the Vashon Island Chorale on board, it’ll visit Lowman Beach at 8:50 pm Saturday, and then sail back along West Seattle’s west-facing shoreline, to reach Alki Beach for a stop at 9:40. All three of those stops are supposed to have bonfires, by the way. If you can’t catch the Christmas Ship on Saturday, it will make one more WS stop — Sunday, 7:10 pm, Don Armeni, also with a bonfire. The full schedule is linked from our WS Holiday Stuff page, as are other holiday activities in WS this weekend, including tonight’s tree lighting @ Our Lady of Guadalupe. (We’ll be out tree-shopping too, and planning to post a price-check here at some point!)
35th is blocked off right now south of the Austin vicinity. WS Blogger Spouse had to detour onto a side street … and a couple more of those streets are blocked off too. Lots of police. Not sure what’s going on — WSBS is going back to see how close it’s possible to get to check it out.
Tonight we drove through White Center’s main commercial district for the first time since last weekend’s shooting, right past the roadside memorial south of Roxbury, marveling at how it brimmed with flowers, glowed with candles. Business and school marquees around the area bear words of tribute for the fallen hero. It’s hard to believe it all happened just a couple miles from where we live. A P-I writer brings it closer to home in this column, tying into the story of Cafe Rozella on the border between West Seattle and White Center, a cool coffeehouse we ventured into for the first time just a few days before Deputy Cox’s violent, tragic end.
Update on The Junction’s new “raised crosswalks”: Junction Dave (see comments on our complaint post below) was right. The city not only was “on it,” sometime in the past 24 hours or so, they got crews out to put the first round of striping on the bumps. After “Molson” (also from comments on the same post below) reported a striping sighting last night, we checked it out this morning, and indeed, each side of each “raised crosswalk” has a pair of triangular stripes, pointing up and ahead.
After a car hit and killed Tatsuo Nakata last month at 47th and Admiral, the city promised safety improvements to the crosswalk there. Now comes word of a community meeting a week from Monday, at which city reps will talk about what they plan to do — according to a meeting notice forwarded to us, it’s two “curb bulbs” in the area, plus replacement of some “warning sign(s).” Is that enough? Some had been calling for a stoplight. If you want to have a say, the meeting will be at 6 pm Dec. 18, Hiawatha Community Center.
You’d think it would have been relatively simple to turn the ex-Rainier Roaster into the future drive-thru Starbucks. Out with the rotisserie/in with the espresso machines, up with the sign, hello world. But noooooo. Exterior work has been going on for what seems like weeks; we’ve wondered if they’re perhaps planning to gold-plate the building. However, this might be a sign of progress: Another permit for the project just got issued today … for installing “alarm and video equipment.” And the store is now listed on the SBUX website as “coming soon.”
As the Times notes this morning, the city has now rolled out draft maps for its “bicycle master plan,” including how it would affect our side of the bay. You can take a closer look by opening this map (and hitting “zoom” about a dozen times to get up close and personal with WS streets). The dark-blue dotted lines mark streets where bike lanes would be set aside. The Times story singles out one of those routes, 35th south of High Point, as “controversial,” without elaborating. Most of Fauntleroy also is marked as potential bike-lane turf, though the Morgan Junction intersection with Cali Ave is black-lined, which means “needs further study.” The city’s still taking comments on all this, including a meeting tomorrow night in South Seattle, so if something about the draft map worries you or thrills you, you’ve got time to pipe up before the official plan is out next year.
After a few weeks of walking and driving over the new “raised crosswalks” in The Junction, we’re certain we liked the old non-raised crosswalks better. Under the streetlights, the slight bumps are such a subtle difference from the pavement, they’re not as visible as the old painted stripes were, and drivers seem less aware that they might need to stop. We almost got taken out ourselves the other night; feels like we’d be safer jaywalking. You suppose maybe the city could at least rustle up some sort of reflective paint for the sides of the “speed bumps,” so they’d be visible from afar, like this?
According to this morning’s Times, King County Sheriff’s Deputy Steve Cox’s killer, Raymond Porter, “had been living in West Seattle.” Don’t know where; you can look up whether sex offenders are living in your neighborhood, but as far as we know, there’s no way to find out if you’ve got neighbors who happen to be any other type of felon.
The regional Church Council has announced an Interfaith Service of Hope tomorrow night at the White Center office of the King County Sheriff’s Department, to pray for Deputy Steve Cox and his killer.
Running this site for almost a year now, we’ve learned a lot about just how much creativity is continuously percolating on our side of the bay. Some of it, people take the time to write us about, such as the Ginomai artists’ community that is taking shape in the space once occupied by WS Christian School, and hundreds (if not thousands) of individual projects, such as this webcomic, and this band. And then, there are the WS artistic endeavors we happen onto, such as the erotic-glass artist who will be showing his stuff tonight, during a Biznik business-networking event at his studio. Boggles us a bit, but we’ll readily admit to a somewhat sheltered life. Play safe!
King County just announced the memorial service for Deputy Steve Cox, the officer and community activist killed in the line of duty in White Center early Saturday, is set for this Friday at the Christian Faith Center in SeaTac, site of other officers’ memorials, including Federal Way’s Patrick Maher in 2003, Des Moines’ Steven Underwood in 2001, and Richard Herzog, the last King County deputy killed on the job (2002) till now. Meantime, the county site has posted photos from the memorial set up in Deputy Cox’s honor at the White Center storefront where he was based.
Driving down Cali Ave a short time ago, noticed something unusual, and very un-senior-looking, happening on the sidewalk in front of the Senior Center. Two more drives around the block finally trained our eyes on a sign in the window, as the small crowd picked up its chairs and moved inside: Seems The Skate Church is now meeting Sunday nights at the WSSC.
-Big banners at the Farmers’ Market today reveal that it’s only taking a holiday hiatus — after the Dec. 17 finale-for-the-year, it will return Jan. 7 as the “Winter Farmers’ Market,” 10 am-1 pm.
-The ever-busier section of Harbor Ave near the tow yards, Verge, ActivSpace, etc., is now even busier, as Budget Trucks seems to have set up a rental business there, with many of its offerings parked on the street. Best to avoid driving RVs and Oversize Load Tractor-Trailers through that stretch. Bicyclists may not be safe either.
-Also more-lined-with-parked-cars-than-ever, Thistle between 35th and Delridge, during the Mars Hill services, which apparently won’t move to their new ex-Doxa home before next month. We cruised by just to see if any protesters were there, since the demonstration outside MH-Ballard got called off. Nope. (If you don’t recall why somebody wanted to protest MH in the first place, here’s a refresher, plus the church leader’s latest musings on the subject, and a pointed deconstruction of said musings.)
-Looks like a whole lot of WS folks out buying Christmas trees. If you’re not sure about your options, remember to check the list at the bottom of our Holiday Stuff page.
Forgot to mention the Admiral‘s monthly showing of “Rocky Horror Picture Show” in our weekend-events post. It fell so far off our radar that we were truly startled to walk out of a 9 pm-ish Admiral movie tonight and find the lobby full of chattering, creatively dressed RHPS fans. More startling still, two late arrivals whom we passed as they giggled and staggered toward the theater from the Safeway vicinity, both in black corsets and fishnet stockings a la Dr. Frank N Furter, as coatless as if they were strolling to a showing in Key West at 34 degrees C, rather than West Seattle at 34 degrees F. Never a dull moment!
Just back from the 2nd annual West Seattle Tree Lighting extravaganza in The Junction, with a festive crowd of 200-plus people, literally chillin’ under an almost-full moon. Before the rest of the story, behold, the tree, seconds after the switch was thrown!
Surprise guest stars — retiring jeweler Jack Menashe and wife Linda triggered the tree, so appropriate since his light-encrusted home has already earned him the unofficial King of Christmas title ’round these parts. The other star of the night was MC Dow C, our King County councilguy, energetic yet unassuming as ever, no political puffery. (We agree with his observation that Shanon from Coffee to a Tea with Sugar, who sprinkled cookies among the crowd, had the outfit of the night — sorry we didn’t get a photo of her.) We missed the “Voices of Christmas” performers’ warmup act, but quite enjoyed the Dickens Carolers, who hit almost every known carol short of “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” before taking a break for the Actual Lighting at 6:35, and managed to be completely unfazed when one of the many tiny tots in the crowd finally succeeded in his persistent quest to (briefly) unplug a speaker. Props to The Junction crew for a 2nd Tree Lighting that improved dramatically on the first. (Junction fun continues tomorrow with the Farmers’ Market, wagon rides, and Santa photos.)
Turns out the deputy shot and killed in White Center this morning was also a longtime community activist who had worked hard, even off the job, to improve the area. He is identified as Steve Cox, president of the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council (according to the latest Seattle Times update), and a former prosecutor. According to the county site, last year he won a Community Builder Award.
Some consider White Center an extension of West Seattle (and someday it officially might be), so we’re letting you know about a tragedy there early this morning: A veteran King County sheriff’s deputy was shot and killed in WC overnight. Here’s some details from the P-I site; that story doesn’t mention the address but elsewhere it was reported as the 10000th block of 12th SW.