West Seattle, Washington
Seattle Public Schools now seems settled on the plan to sell the old Fauntleroy Schoolhouse building as well as several other pieces of “surplus property.” It’s home to a busy child-care center as well as The Hall at Fauntleroy; many have wondered what a sale would mean to the site’s future. The Fauntleroy Community Association site says an event is now set for April 29 to serve as both an open house and “an opportunity to express your ideas for this property if it were in community hands.”
Getting a jump on our weekly “what’s happening this weekend,” which will be up tomorrow as usual — we wanted to give you 24 (or so) hours notice about two benefit events, both happening tomorrow (Friday) night. #1 — From 6 till 8 pm in the West Seattle High School commons, it’s the annual chowder cookoff, with chowders from local restaurants offered in what the school calls a “blind taste test.” More info a ways down the school’s home page. #2 — The West Seattle Big Band is playing @ Evergreen HS (between White Center and Burien) as part of an “Evening of Swing,” 6:30-9:30 pm, benefitting the school music program.
Haven’t seen this on any of the newspaper sites, but Seattle Police confirmed for us that they have arrested a suspect in the 37th/Findlay shooting that killed Dewayne West. The suspect’s name is Jabarie Phillips. Police couldn’t share a lot of details but do say their original suspicion that this “wasn’t random” was indeed the case. Our research found that he, like the victim, is in his 30s, and has a criminal record stretching back into juvenilehood, most recently some sort of drug case dismissed less than two weeks ago. He is in the county jail, bail listed as a million dollars.
Businesses in the repaving zone are hopeful we won’t all abandon them during this time of inconvenience. We’ve been to Hotwire, where a handwritten sign on the door says, THANKS FOR BRAVING THE CONSTRUCTION/YOU MAY PARK IN THE COURTYARD FOR 5 MINUTES. If you’ve got any artistic inclination, you’ve got a week and a half more to get in on their “First Annual Coffee Cup Design Contest.” Submit a design by 3/31; customers will vote on the entries in early April. (Entry form & guidelines here.)
This morning’s P-I dissection of Pointlessness at the Polls points out, pointedly, that despite WS being home to Hizzoner, our collective voting position was a 180 from his. (P.S. Don’t forget, the Lame-Duck-A-Duct is closed most of this weekend.)
The Coast Guard returned to Don Armeni at midday today, launching at least three of their inflatables, with another hovering offshore. Still wondering why they often turn up here, instead of launching from their convenient downtown base across the bay?
As of midmorning today (camera pointing northwest, SW Alaska in foreground):
Now most of Cali between Hinds and the post office is chewed up/grooved, so slower going. We tried side streets to the west as a detour; won’t do that again, those free-for-all intersections aren’t cut out for the overflow. Unrelated side street note: On 41st north of Admiral, heading north from Metro Market, the center stripe is green, leading all the way to a “shamrock” near the end of the street. Our e-mail tipster says the repainting is a St. Patrick’s Day holdover that apparently happens every year; first time we’ve seen/heard of it.
On the east edge of The Junction, developers of the mixed-use project with the QFC didn’t waste much time after booting Hollywood Video. A reader e-mailed us late yesterday that demolition work was racing ahead. What you see behind the backhoe is actually a house behind the ex-store – by late last night, it was just a shell:
Just spotted this as we drove home from a produce trip to Tony’s: SDOT is putting up left-turn signals on 35th at Thistle. If you’ve never tried to make that turn (in either direction), you’ve never enjoyed the death-defying thrills of cars relentlessly racing toward you at what seems like freeway speed. This should save some lives, from reduced stress as well as reduced collision rate:
-Make sure your calendar’s marked for the big meeting a week from Wednesday at Charlestown Cafe, which folks are trying to save from the fate of becoming future home to Soon-To-Be-Ex-Petco.
-Jumping back down to The Junction, we heard concerns a while back from the neighbors of 4515 41st SW, more “mixed use” creeping into a residential neighborhood. Its next Design Review Board spotlight comes up April 12.
-Now hopscotching back up toward Admiral, we got a note recently from a neighbor who wonders if anyone else cares about the phenomenon of creeping commercialism spilling further inland from Cali. This neighbor lives near the beauty salon across from the far corner of PCC’s lot, west of McDonald’s, and contends zoning only allows a home-based business, not a business-focused house with big signs. The neighbor says a zoning inspector ruled the signs could stay because they don’t have text — they’re considered “art.” They’re campaigning to get the businessperson to tone down the signs.
-Finally, another reader points out that the ex-Christian Science church north of the Hiawatha playground, east of Safeway Parking Smackdown Ground Zero, has relatively recently transitioned into something called Sanctuary At Admiral, giving The Hall At Fauntleroy (among other venues) a run for its money.
The city parks department has just issued an alert — it’s closing all grass ballfields around the city because they’re just too soggy, with rain most of the weekend and more on the way. That includes Alki, Fairmount, High Point, part of Hiawatha, Highland Park, Roxhill, and West Seattle Stadium, among others.
Cones and crews are out on Cali from just north of Spokane, south to the post office. (Photo below is from the north edge of this morning’s work zone.) The truck that’s chewing up the old pavement is making fast work of the eastern edge of the road, for starters. Things were moving fairly well when we passed through; but if you just need to get between North WS and South WS, certainly you could try alternate routes such as Beach Drive or 35th.
Our usual visitor volume was down by several hundred last night, so we rolled over to Alki to see if you were all at the Celtic Swell. The outdoor space was stuffed and the sidewalk too, almost as much of a backup as we saw outside Fado downtown as we approached the Viaduct from Columbia yesterday afternoon. However, the more interesting sight at Alki last night was the minus tide (new moon approaching); made for a nice flashlight-enhanced beach walk. Tide tables say no more minus tides at night for a while, but looks like some good ones at midafternoon next Thursday and Friday.
We had heard of the downtown demonstrations tomorrow and Monday, but not about “655,000 Steps for Peace” till we checked the WSNPJ site. Looks like the walkers will be passing through WS from the south tomorrow morning, scheduled to reach Harbor Ave, heading for downtown, by 2 pm.
A reader sent a (not gory) photo of a dead cat spotted while he was walking his dog, thinking maybe someone out there will know whose cat it was, for closure’s sake at least. The cat’s final resting place was next to a hydrant on Admiral, up from the bridge offramp. It’s an orange/white striped tabby with white chin, hard to tell how old; the reader confessed to not having the “presence of mind to check for tags.” If you think you know whose it is, we can forward the photo (honestly, it looks like the poor thing was just sleeping).
Our side of the city has an amazing amount of parks in progress … land is set aside, names are assigned or assumed, “development” is all that’s left. Much of this is around The Junction — Dakota Place Park to the north, Junction Plaza Park to the east, the Ercolini site to the west. Though some $ for acquiring the land came from the 2000 Pro Parks Levy, citizen assistance is required to finish the process of turning set-aside land into full-fledged parks. Right now, Ercolini neighbors are gearing up for a push to get its metamorphosis finished by summer; as one organizer wrote in a note to us, “After you cut through all the requirements, politics, and whatnot, the bottom line is that we need to find volunteers and $$$.” So they’re planning to doorknock and leaflet, and they’re working on a website (not much there yet except a link to the latest park plan).
Some commenters on our last post about 37th/Findlay shooting victim Dewayne West were discussing an online discovery of a violent criminal record for someone with the same name. Looks like they were on the right trail; the P-I posted an article tonight talking about the man having killed someone at a Torchlight Parade almost 20 years ago, when he was just 16.