Community memorial service for Tatsuo Nakata

November 16, 2006 9:38 pm
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 |   Transportation | West Seattle news

The city has announced a public memorial service at Seattle Center this Saturday for Tatsuo Nakata, the man hit and killed at 47th/Admiral earlier this week. Meantime, the P-I takes on pedestrian safety in a Friday editorial. Certainly a touchy topic, as evidenced by the discussion here and on other blogs, like this one.

Deadly West Seattle fire

November 16, 2006 6:54 pm
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 |   Arbor Heights | West Seattle fires | West Seattle news

Not a very cheery week on this side of the bay, is it? Tonight’s news, a fire at an Arbor Heights house has killed a woman. The P-I says her son was badly burned trying to save her.

Happening tonight

-Last reminder that the city’s Southwest Design Review Board meets tonight @ the police dept.’s SW Precinct, with 2 projects on the agenda: the controversial apartment/condo/”park-pool” proposal for 4515 41st SW, and “mixed-use” @ 4116 Cali.

-Tipster wrote to tell us about’s comic “K Chronicles” giving a shoutout to West Seattle. (Since Salon requires subscriptions or “day passes,” good news is, a different site has a free link to the strip here.) Further investigation reveals its author Keith Knight will be at the T(ea) Gallery (in the SOA zone) tonight for an afterparty following his appearance at Hugo House; per the comic, he’s related to the TG’s owner.

This morning’s stories on the 47th/Admiral crash

The Times writes up the city announcements we mentioned last night; the P-I focuses on Tatsuo Nakata’s short but full life in one story, then gets into the new pedestrian-safety emphasis in another.

Gee, and all it took was 1 life lost

The city now says it’s putting up a “mobile radar station” and warning signs near the 47th/Admiral crosswalk where Tatsuo Nakata was hit and killed. (Nothing there yet when I drove by a little while ago.) Is that enough? In a comment on our original post below, site visitor Kate invites us all to join her in a push for more. Here’s part of what she wrote:

If you would like to join me, I will be at the Alki Mail and Dispatch tomorrow, 11/16, at 7AM to once again march with signs up and down Admiral Way. I was out there today with a concerned citizen from 7:30AM-11AM raising awareness about driving behavior and pedestrian safety. I would also like to organize a vigil for Mr. Nakata. I did not know him, but as far as I am concerned, we are all Mr. Nakata, every time we walk down the street and cross at the marked crosswalks.

City Hall victim in Admiral accident

The P-I says the man hit, and very seriously hurt, while crossing at 47th & Admiral yesterday morning is Tatsuo Nakata, chief of staff for city council member David Della. According to an e-mail discussion on the Alki Yahoo! group, there was a petition drive just a few months ago for a light at that very spot. UPDATE: As two comments point out, it was announced this morning that Mr. Nakata has died of his injuries.

A good deed that tastes good

An eagle-eyed reader alerts us to news about what she/he aptly describes as “a West Seattle Farmers’ Market fave” — the bakery Sugar (no relation to “Coffee to a Tea with …”) is raising money to help owner Stephanie’s husband fight cancer. $20 per pie, pumpkin or apple streudel, order online by Sunday night, pick up your pie the day before Thanksgiving, right here in West Seattle.

Deck the poles

Another excuse to mention our holiday page: In the Junction, the wreaths have been hung from the light poles with care, in hopes more holiday shoppers soon will be there … Tonight there seemed to be a fete at Menashe & Sons, perhaps in honor of the retiree? With valet parking outside! (We just got a flyer in the mail about the big sale starting Thursday.) Meantime, also on a holiday note, Santa arrives at Westwood Village a week from Saturday. (The reindeer near his hideaway next to Bed-Bath-n-Beyond have already landed.)

Yet ANOTHER anniversary at sea

Before we get back to focusing on West Seattle’s present & future … one more bit about the past … which also involves an event coming up this weekend. Ever heard of the SS Dix disaster? Till moments ago, neither had we; but the tale makes “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” sound mild. This Saturday, a boat full of folks will be out off Alki Point commemorating the Dix disaster’s centennial, and the Log House Museum (among others) says you’re invited. (Found a few more details on the museum’s site; this cruise follows the annual meeting of the SW Historical Society, at which a new exhibit about West Seattle’s maritime history will be previewed.)

While we’re talking history …

Cool feature in my favorite part of the Sunday Times (Now & Then): a whimsical structure that once stood in the back yard of a north-of-Admiral WS home, when it belonged to the founder of the downtown waterfront’s legendary Ye Olde Curiosity Shop. (As they say … who knew?)

155 years ago today

November 13, 2006 12:26 pm
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 |   WS miscellaneous

Thanks to the tipster who reminds us, Nov. 13 is the anniversary of the day in 1851 that the schooner Exact brought the rest of the Denny Party to Alki, several weeks after their scouts discovered our little bit of heaven. HistoryLink has the true tale.

Part of the plan?

An interesting albeit accidental discovery that may be relevant to one neighborhood’s fight against a sizable development planned in their midst: While looking for something else, we happened onto the city’s 1999 plan for Junction development. It describes the area from 41st to 44th, Genesee to Edmunds, as targeted for creation of “a more compact mixed-use commercial core.” That would seem to include the area on 41st, just north of Alaska, where folks are upset about a proposed 7-story apartment/condo building with a “park-and-pool” facility (lots of interesting info in the comments on our original post); the SW Design Review Board takes up the project this Thursday night. Not sure how closely that 1999 plan is still being followed, but you can still easily find it (and plans for other city neighborhoods) from here.

Set your cell-phone alarm tonight

November 12, 2006 7:10 pm
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 |   West Seattle weather

… just in case; our weather-geek pals tell us it could get windy enough overnight to take out the power. It appears the National Weather Service concurs. In case you want to write it down now, the City Light hotline for reporting outages is 206-684-3000; if you want to check first if someone’s already reported your outage, there’s supposed to be a recorded message along those lines at 206-684-7400.

But what about the Christmas lights?

Big sign in the Menashe & Sons Jewelers window in The Junction — Jack Menashe’s retiring after 30-plus years. Since it’s “… and Sons,” we’re assuming the business will go on. But what about the Christmas lights at the Menashe house on Beach Drive? Please tell us they’re not going into retirement yet! We’re still reeling from the loss of the Gai display long ago. (Not to mention the little old guy in Burien, may he rest in peace.)

Think global, shop local

November 12, 2006 1:54 am
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 |   West Seattle businesses

As holiday-shopping season looms, we’re throwing in a few words of support for shopping at local businesses as much as you can. A lot has changed in The Junction, for example, since last holiday-shopping season. And many businesses are doing what they can to court you — such as, we learned at last weekend’s Gathering of Neighbors that Square One Books has a pre-holiday sale next weekend — 19% off! Check them out before wandering resignedly over to the big chain bookstore at W-Village. And if computer stuff’s on your list, sounds like changes are afoot at Quidnunc — its new newsletter reveals it’s now part of a company called HomeTown Computer Centers, and promises “changes to improve prices and customer service.” Certainly we all pay attention to prices … but it’s worth considering that paying a few cents more is the worthwhile price of not living in one of those hideous megaburbs without a true small-town downtown.

Church chat

November 11, 2006 10:36 am
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 |   Development | Gatewood | West Seattle religion

-A comment just posted a ways down the site is worth spotlighting: Some folks who’ve had it with the Mars Hill guy’s misogyny are planning a protest outside MH-Ballard next weekend.

-News on two churches entirely unrelated to MH (so far as I know): Gatewood Baptist Church is moving from Cali & Othello to 35th & Cloverdale. GB has sold its land on both sides of Cali; the land on the east side (sold for $3.2M) will turn into “townhomes” (here’s a story about the company that bought it) — the west side is up for “re-sale” in two chunks, the school/office building along Othello ($800K) and the church itself ($1.8M). Meantime, with at least part of the proceeds, Gatewood is taking over the former Calvary Lutheran Church. Calvary’s signboard already reads “Welcome, Gatewood Baptist” but the person who answered the phone at Gatewood told us they’re not moving till renovation work is complete after the first of the year. As for Calvary’s future, its phone recording says that as of last weekend, it’s holding services at The Kenney.

Jingle blog, jingle blog

Didn’t get to do this last year ’cause we didn’t launch WSB till Christmas Eve. But this year, we’re rarin’ to go. Our “WS holiday stuff” page is up — just a couple entries so far, but many more to come. When you’ve got a big public holiday event planned, or when you see a spectacular decoration display — something to rival the Menashe house, for example — be sure to let us know, so we can add the info to the holiday page and share it with everyone.

Post-election weekend

November 10, 2006 7:24 am
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 |   WS culture/arts

Wow, the weekend already? The calendar doesn’t lie. So here’s some of what’s up around WS this weekend, in no particular order: If you want to see the biggest movie of the year for cheap, Pirates of the Caribbean 2 has finally landed @ the Admiral … A much different sort of film screens tonight at Youngstown Arts Center, “I Know I’m Not Alone: A Musician’s Search for the Human Cost of War” … The Friends of Orchard Street Ravine have a work party tomorrow … The Four Sheep Acoustic Music Concert Series continues Sunday night at Youngstown AC with Susan Gibson … Looks like a slow weekend otherwise; calm before the holiday storm! Leave a comment if you know of something cool we missed …

Holy fashion statement!

November 9, 2006 10:31 pm
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 |   West Seattle businesses | West Seattle news | West Seattle religion

West Seattle-based “faith meets fashion” fame-gaining Vox Sacra got a network TV spotlight this week, according to this blogpost (with pics).

Art Walk reminder

November 9, 2006 1:10 pm
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 |   West Seattle Art Walk | WS culture/arts

The folks at Divina remind us that (as we mentioned earlier) tonight is the first of the revived West Seattle Art Walks. (2nd Thursday of each month) Participants include: At Divina, local sculptors Randy Bolander, Art Donnelly and Karin Richardson; painters Kelly Rae Cunningham, Brian McGuffey, Carla Davis and Deana Plymale; illustrator Jeanette Piper; creative concept designer Wyn Bielaska, Seattle Lutheran art teacher Jacob Dahlke, and Colombian artisan Clara Obregon … at Hotwire Online Coffeehouse, paintings by Mary Enslow, co-owner of Twilight Artist Collective, curator of Hotwire coffeehouses …
At Clementine, West Seattle metal sculptor and ring maker Rachel Alber … at Coffee to a Tea with Sugar, photographs by Michael Spence … 8 Limbs Yoga (enter from alley), West Seattle photographer and painter Lauren T. Kitsner … at Cupcake Royale, paintings by Alex Thomas … at Elliott Bay Brewery, oil paintings by Tim Pew and Will Hass … then stop at West 5 afterward, tell server or bartender that you took the Art Walk, and organizers promise a complimentary glass of champagne. All this tonight, 6-8 pm in The Junction!

Ready for another restaurant?

A new liquor-license application just landed on the state’s site for “Spring Hill,” seeking a restaurant/lounge permit for the ex-In Bloom spot on the north side of The Junction. (Side note, according to the semi-official Junction history page, the business district “is built on a swamp originally known as Spring Hill Pond.”)

6 WS schools on the lead list

November 9, 2006 5:39 am
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 |   West Seattle schools

Seattle Public Schools is re-testing water at West Seattle High as well as Alki, Cooper, Highland Park, Lafayette, and Schmitz Park elementaries (plus more than 2 dozen other schools citywide). The general story is that the plumbing may be the culprit — but when you look at the geographical location of the schools, it’s interesting (and of course potentially coincidental) that none of the southernmost WS schools are on the list (such as Gatewood, Arbor Heights, and Roxhill elementaries, or Denny Middle, or Chief Sealth HS).

Invasion of the lot snatchers

Just east of The Junction, an all-too-familiar story is playing out in a neighborhood that is looking for support in their quest to make sure this version will not have the usual ending. Neighbors worried about a project on the board for 4515 41st SW say that even with condos and commercial development creeping closer to their block, what’s proposed for that site just doesn’t fit — a 7-story apartment/condo building. Only single-family homes and townhomes are on their block right now; adding this project would be something like going from 0 to 60. The Southwest Design Review Board will take another look at the plans when it meets a week from tomorrow (8 pm Nov. 16, SW Precinct on Delridge). One neighbor tells me he’s been trying to contact the city planner assigned to the project and hasn’t received so much as a courtesy reply. This is one of two projects on the SWDRB agenda for that night; coming up in December, the same board checks back on Fauntleroy Place.