West Seattle, Washington
Just a bit of wistfulness …
The Morgan Junction Subway remodeling work is over. More like redecorating. A key point — the original Subway wall decor (wallpaper mapping the NYC Subway system) is gone, replaced by big color photo murals of vegetables. Yes, I know, that fits the brand, but it’s just one more little bit of familiarity by the wayside. Kind of like the whole 76 ball thing.
Friends of ours who go to Holy Rosary say an official from local Catholic headquarters dropped a bombshell at morning services today: the church’s priest resigned amid allegations of “improprieties.” No details, but our friends say the official was careful in his announcement to point out that it involved “adults.” This has to be a big shakeup for hundreds of local families — this priest had run that church for more than a decade. Nothing about it on the Holy Rosary website as of this writing.
A micro-protest is in progress along Cali Ave between the Alaska and Morgan Junctions.
We counted at least half a dozen small handcut white cards, no more than maybe 3 x 4, tacked onto phone poles, hand-lettered with this plea:
IMPEACH BUSH FOR WAR CRIMES
“For war crimes” was in blue ink;Ã‚Â “impeach Bush” in black.
The cards can’t have been up for long — they are not discolored or weather-stressed in any way. Maybe somebody prepping for the weekly WS anti-war vigil.
Started a long rant on this. Realized it really boils down to just one thing:
PAGLIACCI, O PAGLIACCI, PLEASE MOVE YOUR DELIVERY ZONE BORDER A COUPLE MILES SOUTH!
Our joy at Pagliacci’s WS arrival years ago was muted by the revelation that they refused to deliver to our neighborhood. The border is actually way north of even Morgan Junction.
So, at least three times a month, we place our order on the way home, and drop by The (Alaska) Junction for pickup. Past couple times, though, the wait has been insane. Last night, the wait just to pick up pre-ordered pizzas filled almost the entire store — 15 minutes just to get to the counter.
Sure sign of success. So why not expand the delivery zone? Even little Amante, headquartered way north of Pagliacci, will happily drive orders this far.
Well, at least someone is doing something sensible with Our Transportation Dollars.
The City of Seattle keeps expanding its network of traffic cams, and two of the latest are right in the middle of the WS Bridge — one east, one west. There’s also one sort-of-under the bridge, at the Chelan intersection.
I’m adding them to my WS cams page (see tab above), too. Hmm, maybe we can get the city to put up an Alki cam …
Oh joy, hot on the heels of several thrilling years of monorail votes, we get another vote about our transportation future … tunnel vs. no tunnel. Once again, those pesky politicos just couldn’t decide to decide. So we get to waste more time and money (and kill more trees to stuff mailboxes with pro-tunnel/anti-tunnel hysteria). While we’re at it, let’s vote on the third option too!
More info on what’s replacing Ben & Jerry’s in the Junction:
The permit on the door named a “Verite Coffee” as the permittee. The name rang no bells; a little googling revealed the name to belong to a coffee and cupcake enterprise with two locations in northern parts of Seattle.
An e-mail inquiry brought confirmation — they’re opening a coffeehouse in the B & J space. No date yet — they say “we just got the space Ã¢â‚¬â€œ so itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll be a while Ã¢â‚¬Â¦”
Good news for Husky Deli; they win the Junction ice-cream war. As for coffee — hmm — guess it’s impossible to have too many coffee providers in any given Seattle block, but the Junction is getting crowded now; these “Verite” folks will be joining In-n-Out, Capers, Uptown, Easy Street, Bike ‘n’ Brew, Coffee to a T with Sugar, are we missing anyone?
I don’t see it on the Seattle Aquarium’s own site yet, but a source sends me word that the aquarium’s cuddliest critter finally has a name — with West Seattle significance! From the official press release:
HI! MY NAME IS ALKI The male northern Sea Otter pup born at the
Seattle Aquarium on December 6, 2005 officially has a name. “Alki” was
chosen from names submitted by the Aquarium’s Otter Watch volunteers.
“We decided to give the privilege of naming this otter to our Otter
Watch Volunteers” explains Sue Donohue Smith, Manager of Volunteer and
Guest Services. “For six to eight weeks after otter pups are born at
the Aquarium, we have the Otter Watch program running. The volunteers
work four hour shifts, 24/7, outside the otter exhibit. We collect data
on the behaviors of both mother and pup and compare those behaviors to
other otters born at the Aquarium. Being able to compare the data gives
us a good indication of how the pup is doing. This is tough duty in the
Winter!” Joe Weiss submitted the winning name of Alki for the otter
pup. Joe is the teacher of the Marine Technology program at the Seatac
Occupational Skills Center [OSC]. The Aquarium has a long standing
partnership with the program, placing students as interns in life
sciences as part of their curriculum in the program. Joe told his
students about the naming contest and asked them for ideas. The classes
voted on the name Alki, which he submitted as his choice.
If you’ve ever seen the Otter Watch volunteers on duty, you know it’s hard work indeed. We visited the aquarium shortly after this little guy was born, and marveled as the volunteer simultaneously managed to keep her eyes on the pup, keep her fingers on a keyboard to log the otter’s every action, and keep calm while quietly fielding excited questions from about a dozen kids a minute.
BRIDGE: Got lane-jumped this morning near the top of the WS Bridge. A white Hyundai Sonata with custom “Go Cougs” license plates and two AM 1090 (Air America) bumper stickers sneaked right in front of me, way past where its driver should have waited patiently and properly to get in the right-lane line. Only reason I didn’t consider a beep or bump, the car held two people. Which means one less car. Small consolation. Next time, I’m not going to leave enough space for someone to shoehorn in. SO THERE!
SEA: E-mailed our friendly neighborhood King County Councilperson to see if there’s an update yet on the Elliott Bay Water Taxi for this year. Here now, the entirety of how Councilperson Constantine answered my question “Will the water taxi be back?”:
It will. For the first time the Executive actually put it in his proposed budget. I am working (against much resistance) to fund a permanent dock and establish permanent funding for the service outside of existing Metro bus service. More later.
Had no idea that Fire Station 37 on 35th SW is a historic landmark.
But it says so right here, on a page I looked up after receiving a flyer making its way around this side of WS. According to the flyer, the city is going to sell off Historic Station 37 and build a new one a couple blocks to the south, on land that’s currently home to a house and a substation (apparently NOT historic).
Found a bit more about Current Station 37’s allegedly historic nature here. So will West Seattle’s Log House Museum be joined by a Fire House Museum?
–Two more Signs of Spring over the weekend: The first wave of dandelion invasion, followed by the first door-hanger flyer from the Unmarked Truck Gardener Services. Yeah, I know, my yard will never make it into the pages of Pacific Northwest magazine. But at least it’s organic. (Death to dandelions — but never by chemicals — only mano-a-mano combat.)
–Still working on the Ben & Jerry’s “investigation.” Didn’t get back to the Junction to try to read the posted permit in daylight; did search the city permit database, nothing new there; maybe it’s a different type of permit.
Call me asleep at the wheel. I didn’t really realize there was serious talk of making the Viaduct replacement a toll road. It’s mentioned in passing in this Times article today. In a quest for more information, I found the state’s study of Viaduct toll viability. Doesn’t sound like it would be worth the trouble (a few million bucks a year). I think I’d rather try cross-bay swim commuting than try to wade through that sort of mess.
–If you’re wondering why TV news crews are in the Admiral Junction tonight, here’s the story.
–Found out a bit more about the Ben & Jerry’s mystery in the (Alaska) Junction. Went to the Ballard B & J’s, whose owners also ran the WS B & J’s. We asked the guy behind the counter what’s up with the WS location; he told us “It’s been sold. Might stay a Ben & Jerry’s, might not, don’t know.” Then we stopped by the Junction to take a look for ourselves. You can see inside from the south side windows, which are only partly papered. Tearing it up like that wouldn’t make sense if it’s going to stay a B and J’s. There’s a permit posted by the front door but the light was too dim for us to read it (gotta go back in daylight tomorrow). Our money’s on another food franchise replacing it – Starbucks or Quizno’s.
-Ben & Jerry’s in the Junction, supposedly reopening March 1 after a winter closure, is instead undergoing some sort of remodel. Checked the phone line that its number refers callers to; still says “reopening March 1.” Will investigate further.
-Driven by La Rustica on Beach Drive a million times; haven’t been in the building since its early ’90s days as a coffee joint. Just happened onto its inside story. Who knew?
You see their vans everywhere — and they are based right here in West Seattle — the phone number starting with “93” gives that away — I’m in awe of the Botanical Designs folks. Seems like they take care of plants at every business in the city. I’ve seen their teams pulling up in front of nondescript office buildings, and parking outside plush hotels. Hard to find out much about them, though; even their Web site is mysteriously shallow. But two (green) thumbs up to them for helping make sure we don’t devolve into a plantless world.
A bit of a rant this morning:
One of our favorite takeout places has a wide selection of brochures and other marketing paraphenalia on its counter. Not sure why, but if they can spare the space, more power to ’em. One pile of brochures is from a nearby public school, intended to entice more families to enroll (not a bad strategy considering this school may face the ax otherwise). All I can say is that if I were looking for a place to teach some child of mine how to write with something resembling clarity, this wouldn’t be it. Half the brochure is taken up by mission-statement mumbo-jumbo such as “XX School is a child-centered learning center utilizing global strategies to encourage strategic child-centric learning amid a diverse community of centered learners.” Longer, actually; sorry I didn’t pick up the actual brochure and tote it home — I was a little woozy from both the convoluted language and hunger.
Discussing this with West Seattle Blogger Spouse brought memories from WSBS of a mission statement once proposed by a church that WSBS attends from time to time. As with many church mission statements these days, it included the phrase “faith-based community.” (Faith-“based”? Doesn’t “faith” just say it all? Or is it an open door toward branching into, perhaps, “faith and cuisine”? “Faith and gardening”? “Faith and bingo,” maybe.)
Please, world, I beg you, let’s just call a church a church and a school a school. Mission-statement-ese is rampant enough out in the business world; some spaces can be kept safe.