Talk about synergy

June 13, 2006 8:54 pm
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 |   Seen around town

Just back from a drive around Alki, where we noticed the banners up for the impending Seafair Pirates landing. Just one day after the opening of the next pirate movie. Perhaps Disney will consider a spinoff, “Pirates of Elliott Bay” — where our hero/anti-heroes try to loot Alaska-bound barges. Or something.

Speaking of politics

(Well, we were, in the comments on the next post down.)

I actually had been meaning to mention our encounter with the 34th District Democrats at the Farmers’ Market last Sunday. (Where are the 34th District Republicans? It can’t be an issue of potentially hostile territory … heck, I’ve seen Pro-Life Washington at the Fremont Fair … which by the way is coming up this weekend! … so the GOP at the WSFM would seem do-able.) Anyway, the D’s proclaimed themselves very excited about the state’s hottest candidate du jour speaking at their meeting tomorrow night, even though nobody in this area is eligible to vote in that contest. And just steps away at the WSFM, the local anti-war activists were leafletting for the big event at Roxhill Park this weekend (mentioned here some days back), before they took up the signs for their weekly march back and forth across the “Walk All Ways With Walk” intersection.

If you want to avoid all that at the WSFM, though, just be sure to enter on the west side instead — all you have to dodge is the friendly lady peddling “Real Change.”

Tuesday morning news ‘n’ notes

-Looks like the Pathfinder advocates now comprise one of just two groups most loudly protesting the latest version of the school-closure/consolidation plan. This is the only story resembling a thorough article in today’s papers. (Looking in from outside, I’d suggest they focus their arguments on the condition of the Boren building — the complaint about Delridge won’t hold water; for example, what is arguably WS’s most successful elementary school, Lafayette, is right on Cali Ave in the Admiral Junction bizdist, across from a busy supermarket.)

-While the school district dithers over the shutdowns and shifts to save a few $, how much is it going to waste on this fight? (Side note — if you want to spend $ on something related more to body than mind, how about playground improvements? Lafayette has a project going and so does Gatewood, which plans a meeting about its playground-reno project tonight.)

-If this goes through, will our beloved, scenic WS become home to more B-and-B’s? The only one I’ve ever noticed is down by the Fauntleroy ferry dock (and political signs I’ve seen in its windows would keep me, on principle, from ever recommending any visiting relatives stay there, but that’s just me).

-Guess this means I’ll get to see those nice little old precinct workers a few more times.

Proof the monorail really is toast

Got our first post-monorail car-license renewal notice today. Wow, that really was a chunk of change. Maybe we can lay claim to a brick when the “Former Monorail Station Site Park” takes shape over on the Fauntleroy Auto Repair lot.

Ready to rumble

June 12, 2006 4:27 am
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 |   Genesee Hill | West Seattle schools

The Pathfinder K-8 folks are planning rallies before and after school today as the next step in their fight against the proposal to move them to the former Boren JHS on Delridge. Then tonight, it’s the next public hearing on the citywide plan.

By the way, minutes from the last Pathfinder PTSA meeting (click the link at upper right on this page to download the Word doc) include interesting comments from our West Seattle rep on the school board — not just apropos to Pathfinder and its plight.

Somethin’s in the oven

Bakery news and notes from our wanderings while in the Junction today for the Farmers’ Market:

-Spotted a few people inside the ex-Remo Borracchini space, clearly measuring it for something. Maybe it won’t stay idle for long.

-Decided it was finally time to try Coffee to a Tea with Sugar, to see how they’re holding up amid the Cupcake Clash. Just didn’t feel like cupcakes, though; tried a sugar-topped scone, classic crumbly scone, not too sweet despite the topping. Excellent latte, too. But topping it all, so to speak, was the view from the “bar” — the tables big enough for our group were all reserved for some impending tea party, so we had to sit up there, and we were quite entertained by the view of the bakers, who patiently and pleasantly answered questions.

-One member of the WS Blog delegation couldn’t wait for the CTS stop and snapped up  a strudel slice from the Little Prague Bakery stand at the Farmers’ Market. Thumbs up on that too.

Happy anniversary

June 10, 2006 10:42 pm
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 |   Seen around town

If there’s a kid in your life, think about dropping by Curious Kidstuff in the Junction today (Sunday 6/11) and checking out its anniversary sale. A big banner’s been up outside the shop for a while to promote the sale. It’s a shop with a conscience, all too rare these days — for years, a welcome refuge for those who would rather not see kids play with fake weapons or shoot-em-up video games. Hope they’ll be around for many more years.

Almost good as new

June 10, 2006 8:57 am
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 |   Environment | West Seattle beaches

One last personal loose end from the Great Pipeline Project of ’06 is now tied up … we ventured back to Cove Park last night, along the way to a recreational ferry ride.

Almost two months ago, our first peek at the beloved little park in the middle of all that work was almost too much to bear. It left me with a dystopian image that festered in my mind long after that night. And even once we saw last month that Lincoln Park was back to near-normal, I was a little scared about what we’d see at Cove Park — such a fragile little spot to start with.

Surprise! The art path survived; the beach is drift-log-laden again; the only major noticeable change is the absence of a runoff ditch between the logs — always thought that was tied to Fauntleroy Creek, maybe not.

Next thing to be worried about: the long-heralded pump station “upgrade” at Lowman Beach, another spot we cherish. It’s still in the works, according to this King County doc. Looks like there was organized opposition last year and some reassurance … have to keep an eye on it now. If anyone even suggests disturbing those two beautiful huge trees at Lowman, I swear, I’ll pull this kind of stunt myself.

And yet another grand opening

June 9, 2006 5:56 pm
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 |   WS beverages | WS miscellaneous

My Tea Gallery, the new tea place on Cali Ave south of Admiral Junction, is open, according to a tipster who pointed us to the shop’s site. Must be what they call a “soft launch,” since the “grand opening party” is still a couple weeks away.

Review of a restaurant I’d almost forgotten

June 9, 2006 4:37 am
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 |   WS miscellaneous

The P-I takes on the Luna Park Cafe. I haven’t been there since a breakfast get-together some years back featuring WS Blogger Spouse and I inspecting the latest girlfriend of one of our beloved terminal-bachelor pals. (We liked her; he didn’t.)

Side note … it’s always struck me as odd that somehow that particular area around the underside of the west end of the Big Bridge has carried on the Luna Park name, even though the actual Luna Park site was nowhere nearby.

Finally working!

It’s been more than a week since I first noticed had this link to an (at the time, alleged) Alki live cam. Each day and night, I’d try it to see if it was worth adding to this site … but it wasn’t working … till now! Hope it stays up; of all the WS spots in need of a live cam, Alki would be top of my list. (And remember I’ve got a cam page on this site; if you know of any suitable-for-family-viewing WS live cams to add to the list, please send me the link!)

More about West Seattle’s next megachurch

If you’re curious about what brings Seattle’s best-known fundamentalist church to WS, new Web pages shine some light: It’s the building. (Didn’t realize they’d already shut the whole thing down for renovation & transformation, looking ahead to a fall/winter launch.) I don’t know anyone involved with Doxa or Mars Hill — but even as an outsider, if you read between the lines of the pages on the MHWS site, including this FAQ, it sounds like quite the takeover.

New connectivity choice?

Noticed recently that a lot of land-use applications in West Seattle these days — these addresses in Gatewood, Delridge, north end of Delridge, Admiral, Morgan Junction — are for wireless antennas for something called Clearwire. Thought maybe that was just a front company for the various wireless companies, but have since learned otherwise. And today, driving along Cali Ave, we noticed another Clearwire application sign up in front of the block of apartments/stores just south of the Junction 7-11. The Clearwire Web site does not mention how soon the company expects to launch West Seattle service; separate from the controversy over too many antennas going up too close for comfort, I’m interested in the possibility of an alternate broadband provider. Service from the Comcast monopoly is not really that Comcastic for us, and Qwest DSL doesn’t seem to be an option in our neighborhood. So we’ll keep an eye on this one too …

OK, we will!

June 7, 2006 8:18 am
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 |   Seen around town

Sign of life finally at the former tanning-salon space next to Pagliacci in the Junction: someone’s scrawled WATCH THIS SPACE over the butcher paper covering the big front window. P.S. Doesn’t seem like it’s been that long, but Pagliacci’s about to celebrate its TENTH ANNIVERSARY on this side of town.

All good things take time

June 6, 2006 5:02 pm
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 |   West Seattle restaurants

Well, I hope the new restaurant in the ex-Alki Market will be good. Somehow we’ve never managed to patronize either of the other Cacti. Anyway, tomorrow’s P-I will feature this article about the in-the-works Cactus on Alki, including the note that its expected opening is still quite some weeks off.

Up close and personal with The Viaduct

June 6, 2006 4:27 am
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 |   Alaskan Way Viaduct | Transportation | WS miscellaneous

You’ve laughed your way through the video we now know WE actually paid for!

You’ve bitten your nails while driving its scenic topside and muttering under your breath “just let me get to the other side before the Big One hits!”.

Now … just a week and a half to register for your annual chance to actually WALK on the viaduct. Hope to see you there.

Hell no, they won’t go

Looks like the folks at Pathfinder K-8 are not taking their new proposed home lightly. A big banner’s draped over the north side of the Fauntleroy pedestrian overpass, for drivers coming back into WS up off the bridge — SAVE PATHFINDER/NO BOREN/PTSA MEETING TUES. 6:30. Related: Found an interesting blog from a future Pathfinder parent, tackling the entire school-closure mess citywide.

TJ’s or not TJ’s?

A new comment on an old post reminded me I hadn’t heard much lately about the rumors of Trader Joe’s finally, finally, FINALLY coming to West Seattle. Seems speculation is centering around the forthcoming mixed-use project on Admiral just west of Metropolitan Market, so we went fishing around a bit.

Project description mentions “grocery store.” MM & Safeway are so close by (and PCC not much further), it would have to be something “specialty” like TJ’s.

The contact name on the applications traces to the same architect that handled the same owner’s project to the north (Bartell’s and what’s above it) — no sketches on the site, though.

A notice on a pole at the site mentions another design-review meeting just about a week ago — anybody got the scoop on that? Just curious.

Did find a couple other notes of interest along the way. First — a little history about part of the site. Second — I can’t find a direct link to the relatively recently renamed “Admiral Neighborhood Association,” but it looks like neighborhood leaders joined in a “street-level survey” a little earlier this year, with results documented here.

Enough about all that, though. Any inside info on TJ’s, or not TJ’s, very much welcome. Definitely tired of driving to Burien. And this is one of the last few franchises we still don’t have out here (in the years since WS Blogger Spouse and I arrived, we’ve stopped having to drive somewhere else for Pagliacci, Jamba Juice, Barnes & Noble, to name a few).

Sunday afternoon miscellany

June 4, 2006 2:06 pm
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 |   West Seattle religion | West Seattle restaurants | Wildlife | WS miscellaneous

-If you have a small child in the house, something new turned up at the WS Farmers’ Market today … fresh, local, vegetarian food for babies or toddlers.

-For the produce we didn’t find at the Farmers’ Market, we dropped by Tony’s on 35th. Great prices — beautiful apples for 99 cents a pound, mushrooms for $2.50. Kinda fascinating that the guy who runs it is the president of the Burien-area sewer district.

-Further north on 35th, we noticed the “Mars Hill West Seattle, Coming Soon” sign up at Doxa. According to the MH Web site, the dedication was just the other night.

-Also as we cruised northward on 35th, a wildlife sighting … one of our majestic national symbols, being pestered by crows. Common, I know, but always mesmerizing, as the crows are so much smaller than the eagles, yet so brazen about this behavior.


June 4, 2006 8:54 am
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 |   WS miscellaneous

OK, it’s a stretch to say this is the kind of recycling urged in Al’s movie … but nonetheless, I’m recycling today by pointing you to this post and reminding you tonight is the night for the benefit. We’re all stuck on this planet together — let’s help each other as much as we can.

Annexation angst

June 3, 2006 3:18 pm
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 |   Holidays

A sighting of popper noisemakers at QFC reminds me … If nothing else, here’s a reason to keep White Center un-annexed, and therefore unincorporated: If either Seattle or Burien takes over the turf, that means no more fireworks. I’m not a fan of those heavy-duty war-grade monstrosities you can get at the reservations, but I do think it’s appropriate to have a few sparklers in your own back yard on Independence Day. So, for as long as we’ve been in West Seattle, we’ve wandered over to the Roxbury Safeway parking lot a day or two ahead of time and bought a few boxes of safe-n-sane fireworks, then clandestinely ignited them in our yardlet, hoping nobody would sic the cops on us. But they’re against the law in Burien as well as Seattle, so if either of those cities annexes our neighboring chunk of unincorporated King County, it’s farewell, fireworks. Food 4 thought. Meantime, in a few weeks you’ll find us over in the Safeway parking lot tent, trying to settle on a modest pack of personal pyrotechnics.

Go paddle yourself

Surprise — the sun’s out. Forecast still insists it won’t be for long, but I have faith I can at least get out and pull weeds for a while. If you’d rather do something else environmentally friendly that also happens to get you out on the water, Cami from ever-trusty tells us Alki Kayak Tours over at Seacrest Boathouse is offering demos on Eddyline Kayaks till 3 pm today. (I personally think West Seattle needs a few more businesses with “Tours” in their name — why not show off our beauty? — so I don’t mind the occasional plug!)

Warming up to Al

June 2, 2006 9:40 pm
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 |   Environment

About a month before Al Gore was elected Vice President in 1992, West Seattle Blogger Spouse and I shoehorned ourselves into an outdoor crowd at the UW to watch him speak. This was supposed to be some sort of appeal to Them Young Voters; what passed for local music royalty pre-grunge, the Wilson sisters, opened for him, as I recall.

I remember the sunshine and the energy. I don’t remember being terribly impressed by him. But Al Gore ’06 is a different guy. See for yourself in “An Inconvenient Truth,” aka “the Al Gore movie” or “the global-warming movie.” We just got back from shoehorning ourselves into an indoor crowd downtown to see it.

Cool thing is, it’s not what you’d expect. It’s not a huge scarefest full of “Day After Tomorrow” disaster-rama-style effects — it’s heartbreaking pictures, and impressive charts, and a whole different side of the ex-Vice President. Best thing, it ends with zillions of bits of advice on how you can do something about the problem. Chances are, here in our blue peninsula amid a blue city, you might be doing something good already. (Here at WSB World HQ, we’ve “planted trees. Lots of trees” and we “recycle” — abundantly — so now we just need to give City Light a call as per the credit-sequence exhortation and ask if they use “green energy.”)

Also advised, “tell everyone you know to see (the) movie.” So that’s what I’m doing here, with a link to Saturday showtimes, and a link to the tie-in site. If you’ve got an environmentalist bone in your body, it’s a lot more satisfying than, oh, say, “Over the Hedge.”