Another way to escape the winter blues … um, grays

February 2, 2006 7:14 pm
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 |   Environment

Even if you don’t swim, pay the three bucks and change, and go hang out at West Seattle’s only city-run pool during one of the public swim periods. The air is tropical. If you choose to go in the water, you can also close your eyes and imagine yourself somewhere much, much warmer. Really, the admission fee probably falls short of what you’d pay to stay home for the same hour or two and keep the thermostat up. (I know I’m not the only one with an outrageous City Light or PSE bill these days.)

A thought to help you get through the dark, soggy winter

February 2, 2006 6:14 am
|    Comments Off on A thought to help you get through the dark, soggy winter
 |   Environment

We are now more than halfway through those long, gloomy months between festival/parade seasons. Just five and a half months till the Junction Festival, for example. Hang in there!

Surest way to attract a TV crew

February 1, 2006 7:53 pm
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 |   West Seattle news

Urban early-morning power outage! Folks from the morning newscast on Q-13 spent at least a couple hours near the Alki Bathhouse this morning, talking about The First of February Windstorm ’06. My favorite part — the horrifying revelation that Tully’s had to open late because of the outage. You know things can get ugly when you just can’t get that quadruple grande you’re counting on. Might I suggest a dip in the bay, as an equivalent wakeup jolt?

Didn’t think so.

Prediction for next Alki TV sighting: The traditional semi-annual orca pod drive-by. Choppers ahoy!

Yiiii — sell your house now

February 1, 2006 12:19 am
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 |   Transportation

OMG, if they say four years, it’ll really be six. Start lobbying your boss for telecommuting …

And he probably didn’t even get a Slurpee out of it

February 1, 2006 12:14 am
|    Comments Off on And he probably didn’t even get a Slurpee out of it
 |   West Seattle news

Ah, if only “Seattle Live” were still around, maybe they’d finally find inspiration in this for an episode of “COPS — in West Seattle” ….

And the nominee is …

… for Best Community Newspaper in West Seattle, I nominate these folks. Kicks the Herald up one side of the block and down the other. Wonder if we can get something like that going on this side of Cali Ave someday.

Mourning the marquee

January 30, 2006 6:37 am
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 |   Seen around town | WS & Sports

I was going to chug out a rant here about driving down California Avenue SW and spotting only two “Go Hawks” marquees. Then the thought presented itself: Really, how many potential “Go Hawks” marquees/signboards/whatever-you-want-to-call-them? Darn few. (But on the south end of Cali Ave, really, you’d think at least O’Neill The Plumber and McD’s could join the lonely Thriftway signboard in Super Bowl spirit … I’ll keep watching.)

This might have been my idea if I were a bit edgier

January 29, 2006 7:24 pm
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 |   West Seattle online

Hard to tell if this is anything more than an abandoned site, given the 2002 copyright and no evidence of absolutely recent activity … but it’s amusing (and heartening) just the same. (March 21 update: the link’s dead now … bummer.)

West Seattle cams

Something else from the “I had NO idea” file:

The City of Seattle has a dozen or so of its own traffic cams, in the vein of the well-known DOT cams you see on TV all the time, and two are on this side of the bay:

Fauntleroy & Alaska

35th & Fauntleroy

I’m thinking about making a separate West Seattle cams page for This Here Blog. These two will be a good start, along with the Fauntleroy ferry cam.

Priorities, priorities

January 28, 2006 2:35 pm
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 |   Transportation

Today’s mail brought a “2006 (Legislative) Session Preview” from one of our West Seattle-based lawmakers, Rep. Eileen Cody. Conspicuously missing — some mention of transportation besides ferries. If I were a legislator based on this side of town, I would say something about the viaduct, at the very least, and perhaps add on something about water-based commuter service across the bay — not across the sound — how many of us really commute westward, anyway?

Among Rep. Cody’s other listed priorities are helping schools do more to “ensure that every student has a fair chance to pass the WASL.” Ugh. Let’s not put more eggs in that flawed basket.

Also shuttered

January 27, 2006 3:49 pm
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 |   Seen around town | West Seattle businesses

Well, in this case, butcher-papered.

Just hours after we noticed the demise of Urban Fitness in the Junction, we spotted butcher paper over the windows of the tanning salon next to Pagliacci. Pulled over to have a look; it’s got a notice over the butcher paper, “closed, thanks for 14 years.” (The spouse of West Seattle Blogger notes, “Lousy location anyway, no parking.” True.)

What’s going on? This can’t all be blamed on the monorail ripple effect, can it?

Chunky Monkey vs. Skinny Minnie

January 27, 2006 9:19 am
|    Comments Off on Chunky Monkey vs. Skinny Minnie
 |   Seen around town | West Seattle businesses

We always wondered if the karma from Ben & Jerry’s in the Junction would cause some sort of cosmic trouble for Urban Fitness around the street. Now, whether it’s the ice-cream vibes or something else, it seems UF has vanished — just noticed this on our first drive through the Junction in at least a week.

This may be old news; we just called the club’s number and the recording told us they shut down as of Dec. 31 because they couldn’t negotiate a new lease. Surprising just the same, as this place was at one point so trendy that people came from all over town to partake in its cutting-edge exercise classes.

Perhaps the best-known gym on our side of the bay, 24-Hour Fitness @ Westwood, will have a better time staying afloat — not just because it’s part of a chain, but also because it’s across from something more compatible.


January 26, 2006 7:17 pm
|    Comments Off on Rerun
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle schools

All the nice folks at Alki Elementary have to go through it all again — the folks who run Seattle Public Schools insisting the only way to save $ is to close school. We doubt they will escape the ax this time. Bummer.

More of us to love

January 25, 2006 7:14 pm
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 |   West Seattle news

West Seattle could grow if this happens.
Or would that be Southwest Seattle?
Would South Seattle no longer be South Seattle, if the city limits moved so much further south?
White Center is such a gray area, anyway. I dare you to identify, from memory, exactly where the city-limits signs are. I only know of one for sure.
But I would suggest, let’s not stop there. Let’s go ahead and just annex all of Burien. And SeaTac too. I mean, let’s end their miserable run of trying to correct people who don’t get the capitalization or punctuation quite right. We can stretch Seattle all the way to Tacoma … or, at least, Federal Way.

Contemplating while commuting

January 24, 2006 7:02 pm
|    Comments Off on Contemplating while commuting
 |   Seen around town

First of all:
One news source tonight reported that The Authorities are dismissing the possibility that The Sudden Seattle Smell from this morning even made its way over to West Seattle — mais non, it originated on the other side of the bay, couldn’t have possibly floated “over there” (here) — Well, I think this visual proof just seals the deal.

Second of all:
Talk about something that stinks. The day after the Ameriquest settlement went public, people are standing along Fauntleroy waving signs touting alleged refinancing deals. Have they no shame?

Third of all:
Are the “Walking on Logs” characters wearing Camp Fire gear just because no one’s bothered to take it off, or did they pay somebody for the right to keep it up? I’m not too annoyed yet because Camp Fire does not have Scouting-style prejudices — that I know of. But I’m working up a lather to complain to someone, somewhere.

That … is all.
For now.

Paint the town blue

January 22, 2006 11:59 pm
|    Comments Off on Paint the town blue
 |   WS & Sports

OK, like 75 percent of the rest of Seattle’s bloggers, I will dutifully write something here about the Super Bowl-bound Seahawks. I will seek to tie it to This Blog’s theme by noting that I have been out and about in the hours since The Big Game concluded, and I have not seen any evidence of blue lights on roofs, banners on porches, new bumper stickers on cars, etc. C’mon kids, we can do better. Let’s get the Westwood Village QFC to at least offer some blue-iced cupcakes. Two weeks to the Super Bowl, plenty of time for a football frenzy.

Now what — another bar?

January 20, 2006 9:44 pm
|    Comments Off on Now what — another bar?
 |   West Seattle news

Buried in the aforementioned (well, in this layout, belowmentioned) West Seattle Herald article is the mention that Video Vault, once a hotbed of anti-monorailism, is going to hit the stop button forever next month. I haven’t spent a dime there since they started campaigning against the monorail, and I would hold that against them in perpetuity, for what it’s worth. Then again, we’re not exactly major video connoisseurs, so they’re not missing out on much business. Anybody want to lay odds on yet another bar/tavern taking over the space? Or will it be view condos?

Little did I know

January 19, 2006 5:57 am
|    Comments Off on Little did I know
 |   WS miscellaneous

While I was whining about boredom last night, some folks were gathering for a “State of the Neighborhood Summit” hosted by the city. Wouldn’t have known this except for a mention in this blog, the first I’ve found that at least alludes to West Seattle issues, in addition to semi-detailing the life of its WS-based author.

For various reasons, I tend to have more access to, and interest in, information about what our government is up to. Yet this summit was news to me. I have mucked around the Web in the past half-hour trying to find out how I missed it, and all I’ve come across is a brief mention at the end of a PDF newsletter posted online by a member of the City Council.

If I’d have known about it, I’d have blogged it. What better place to address the State o’ West Seattle, than the WS Blog? Next year, I guess.

Calm before the …

January 18, 2006 9:48 pm
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 |   West Seattle news

Quiet night on the west side. Not raining. Seahawks game still four long days away; no overt signs of blue-and-green fever yet. Still not light enough late enough into the evening for beach volleyball. Starbucks’ red-cup season is over.


If you want proof nothing’s happening, check out the banner story at It’s about something that HASN’T HAPPENED … at least yet.

No news is NOT always good news.


January 18, 2006 6:31 am
|    Comments Off on Ka-ching!
 |   West Seattle news

Good news if you already own a home on this side of the bay, bad news if you don’t. Our prices are movin’ on up, according to a realtor quoted in the second half of this story. (Though the cynic in me notes, he’s likely finger-crossing for a self-fulfilling prophecy, since his company has a major stake in West Seattle real estate.)

Stay out of the water

January 17, 2006 9:59 pm
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 |   Environment

Reportedly there’s a sewage leak in the Lincoln Park vicinity and authorities have “posted the beach (as) closed.” Well, whew. So much for that yearning to take a midwinter swim in salt water.

Playing possum

January 16, 2006 7:06 pm
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 |   Delridge | Seen around town | Wildlife

Not a good season for West Seattle possums, unless their abundance as local roadkill is a sign of a population increase off the asphalt. While further flattening the one that lay in the northbound lane on the south half of Delridge over the weekend, I pondered the potential meme of “run over roadkill, or swerve to avoid it?” Googling shows me that somebody else already has adequately addressed the topic …

“Poison” ivy

January 15, 2006 7:24 pm
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 |   Environment

This afternoon, walking along an otherwise lovely, hilly block of modest West Seattle warboxes, I got the answer to a question I asked some weeks back, while reading this article: “Who in the WORLD plants ivy ON PURPOSE?”

Yes, there they were, about half a dozen snarling starter clumps of ivy, carefully spaced along the north-facing bank of a warbox that sits about five feet above the sidewalk.

I so badly wanted to just yank them out. But that’s vandalism, even if the cause seems just.

I don’t have the cojones for an anonymous note in the door or under a windshield. So this post will have to do.