Chunky Monkey vs. Skinny Minnie

January 27, 2006 9:19 am
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 |   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
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 |   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
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 |   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
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 |   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
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 |   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
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 |   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.

Price to pay

January 15, 2006 2:39 pm
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 |   Transportation

I ranted earlier this month about the folks who use the bus lane on The Bridge as their personal fast track. Learned today in this Times article that there is a heavy price to pay for it. Great; so where are the cops who should be staking it out?

Seahawks fans “check out”

January 14, 2006 7:10 pm
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 |   WS & Sports

An unlikely hotbed of Seahawks pre-game fan mania today: West Seattle Thriftway. Custom T-shirts on the workers, as far as my eye could see. I’ve seen the Thriftway go Mariners-manic before, but not Seahawks-crazy. If they’re really serious, perhaps they can program the signboard outside to flash GO SEAHAWKS inbetween wine deals!

Yeah, sure, blame it on the tree

January 14, 2006 11:32 am
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 |   West Seattle news

From the P-I’s account of the Friday power outage:

“The larger of the two outages occurred around 4:30 a.m. when a tree fell on power lines at 32nd Avenue Southwest and Southwest Brandon Street, cutting off power to about 7,500 Seattle City Light customers.

The outage stretched from Alki in the north to Southwest Findlay Street in the south and 23rd Avenue Southwest in the east to 53rd Avenue Southwest in the west, City Light spokeswoman Sharon Bennett said.”

Gotta find out exactly how our power grid works — how that outage managed to result in an unscheduled off-day for the kids at Schmitz Park Elementary, but not for, say, Lafayette, barely a mile away, and located between Schmitz Park and the outage source.

As I write this late Saturday morning (as the streets are about to be vacated so that everyone can gather ’round their teevees for the Seahawks pregame, game, and postgame), there’s a definite break to the west. Chances are good it’ll be long-overdue activity-suitable weather all afternoon … right while everyone’s in the living room.

There’s no place like home … there’s no place like home …

January 13, 2006 7:26 pm
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 |   Transportation

If only clicking my heels together like Dorothy in “Wizard of Oz” could have gotten me home faster tonight …

Traffic through downtown was so horrendous tonight (are that many people REALLY going to watch the StupidSonics?), I had to try the viaduct-free way home.

Took an hour to get from north of downtown to the 1st Avenue South onramp for the WS Bridge. One hour, five miles tops. And this is WITH bumper-to-bumper traffic filling the viaduct itself. Without that placeholder for those additional hundreds of cars — the backup will start at my workday parking place. Really.

Is anyone holding brainstorming sessions about this looming disaster? Will we wind up telecommuting, shift-staggering, unemployed, or forming new WS-based businesses to take advantage of the talents of The Peninsula-Bound? I’m going to go look.

Sinking feeling

January 12, 2006 9:14 pm
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 |   Environment

West Seattle’s first major storm damage … or at least it sounds storm-related … a sinkhole closing one of the paths down to the beach in Lincoln Park.

Good taste

January 11, 2006 9:27 pm
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 |   Environment | Seen around town

As has been noted in some accounts of this sighting outside Salty’s, at least the seal chose the least-polluting car …

Complainin’ in the rain, just complainin’ in the rain …

January 10, 2006 9:45 pm
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 |   West Seattle weather

Buried inside a National Weather Service “forecast discussion” for the next few days … a new term that hints even the NWS guys and gals are gloomed out:


Where there’s smoke …

Radio talk-show host New York Vinnie cited West Seattle tonight while talking about restaurant districts where he doubted the smoking ban was costing businesspeople customers. He talked about being at West 5 and looking across to the Matador — or perhaps it was the other way around. Sure, those joints might be buzzing, but what about the teeny ones like the Poggie Tavern or Be’s Restaurant, where it sometimes seemed you could come down with emphysema just by walking past their doors? I’d love to hear how they’re doing.

Yes, soup for you

January 8, 2006 3:42 pm
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 |   West Seattle restaurants | Westwood

Killer soup at lunch today. Actually, we squeaked in before the end of the relatively new Sunday brunch zone at eats market cafe (Westwood Village). Today’s “market soup” was curried carrot. Tangy, creamy, dreamy. Their sandwiches have a zesty personality too, mildly reminiscent of the wondrous BLT at West 5. OK, I guess this makes up for the burger whine last night …

That’s just wrong

January 8, 2006 9:59 am
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 |   Transportation

Seattle P-I editorialist Ted Van Dyk must not live on our side of the bay. Witness this quote from his guv’ment-advising rant in today’s combined paper:

Rail transit is not the only public transit. Seattle since 1970 has had one of the best bus transit systems in the United States. But bus funds are being diverted increasingly to rail. The City Council recently announced it is “looking at options” to replace the canceled monorail line between Ballard and West Seattle. The monorail needs no replacement but regular, well-scheduled bus service.

Ever try to commute from WS via bus? I have. First mega-problem: Unless you are going straight to the heart of downtown (preferably along 1st Avenue), it’s transfer city, which means potential hours of travel, even if you’re not going too much farther north than the Space Needle.

Worse problem: As monorail campaigners pointed out, you do have to “rise above it all” to get out of the traffic mess. Short of the Jetsons-style suitcase spaceships, their idea, flawed as the financing was, would have at least accomplished that.

Never mind the “bus lane” squeezed onto the bridge a few years back. Impatient drivers turn it into their personal fast track every morning rush hour. Just try to get across it to the viaduct-bound right lane, and you’ll see for yourself (if you live to tell the tale).

I salivate at the sight of the Sound Transit light rail columns going up along the freeway from Burien to Sea-Tac. Can we have a little taste of that? Please?

Cheeseburger in paradise (not)

There are no decent, fast burgers in West Seattle. We need Fatburger. Here on a rainy Saturday night, we are going to have to drive to Wendy’s in Burien to get a decent burger. McDonald’s and Jack in the Box don’t qualify. Yeah, some of our sit-down eateries have tasty burgers (Easy Street, Duke’s, Circa), but this isn’t that kind of a night. We’re in our scruffies, we just want to drive somewhere, get a burger, come home. And for that, we have to go to Burien. Bah.