Truly hot coffee

December 10, 2006 12:26 pm
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 |   West Seattle weather

We’ve heard Starbucks checks the temperature of its drinks, but how about the temperature of its signs? (Taken half an hour ago at the ex-Rainier Roaster.)


Christmas Ship @ WS, night 1

December 9, 2006 11:45 pm
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 |   Holidays | West Seattle beaches

Just back from two of the Christmas Ship‘s three WS stops tonight (its WS finale for ’06 is tomorrow, Don Armeni, 7:10 pm, music by the Dickens Carolers, seen and heard in WS just last weekend for the Junction Tree Lighting). Missed the early stop @ Seacrest; intended just to enjoy the Lowman stop, but a member of the WSB entourage suggested we check out its Alki stop too, so off we went. At Lowman, the bonfire was the centerpiece, neatly held in a cordoned-off fire ring (obviously brought in by the parks crew, as fires otherwise aren’t allowed there), unlike a few years ago, when we remember a pile of pallets set ablaze with great abandon. At Alki, the non-cordoned bonfire was almost an afterthought at one heck of a party, with a live band on shore, a huge city-provided tent, and free cookies and cocoa/cider in Tully’s cups (amusing since the smaller tent next door belonged to Starbucks, offering tiny free samples of gingerbread lattes). We wondered between stops if the Vashon Island Chorale would sing the same half-dozen or so songs at both stops; answer: no. Just one overlap, the appropriate finale “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.” Big crowds at both stops, thanks to the cleared-up-in-time weather, and the Alki event had quite the afterparty going long after the Christmas Ship vanished into the downtown glow.

Tree spree: WS-wide price check

Drum roll … we’ve completed our one-day tour of West Seattle Christmas-tree sellers (yes, “Christmas trees,” not holiday trees, sigh). From the Holy Rosary lot in the north, to the 28th & Roxbury lot in the south, here’s what we found:
Read More

Tree pricing progress report

December 9, 2006 12:54 pm
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 |   Holidays

Taking a quick break from the tour of tree lots … so far, if your budget really requires the cheapest tree you can find, Home Depot is the place in WS (you can get a 6′ Douglas fir for about twenty bucks). More sites to visit, so that may not turn out to ultimately be the cheapest tree in WS, but in case you’re going out this afternoon, now that the rain has stopped (paused?), did want to mention it. We personally still mourn the old White Center Chubby & Tubby, where you could get a $5 “Charlie Brown style” scraggly little tree. More later …

This is sad

The Fauntleroy Community Council reports zero coho returning to their creek, for the first time in more than a decade. The watershed watchers cite possible reasons ranging from global warming to tribal fishing.

Glad to be home safe

December 8, 2006 10:43 pm
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 |   Triangle | WS breaking news

We’re just trouble magnets today. After the drama of the 35th (and surrounding streets) shutdown earlier (see posts below), on our way home from an evening outing just now, the Fauntleroy/Alaska intersection got blocked, as we approached it, by a police car arriving to check out a three-car smashup that appeared to have happened moments earlier. Didn’t look too serious, but the city 911 log page does show a fire-engine callout, so things may be a little jammed there till later tonight.

All over

Just back from a trip to check out 35th — all open now — we wound up behind what was probably the last of the officers, two guys in a scary charcoal-gray humvee-ish vehicle you probably wouldn’t ever want to see pull up in your neighborhood. 4 PM UPDATE: Now there’s a brief story in the P-I.

A few details

According to a blurb currently atop this news site that was atop a news site for a while,   “a man has barricaded himself inside an apartment” and that’s what’s going on along 35th (see below).

Still not sure what’s up but here’s a photo

WS Blogger Spouse took the photo from the Chevron on 35th near the shutdown:DSC02902.JPG

“Ahoy to the world!”

December 8, 2006 9:42 am
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 |   Holidays | Seen at sea

This is the usual greeting over the loudspeaker from the Christmas Ship as it arrives at one of its stops, blazing with light, serenading everyone on shore with live Christmas songs from performers on board. And this is the big weekend for our part of town. Here’s hoping the weather won’t be too bad. First, on Saturday, the Christmas Ship (and whichever boats choose to accompany it) will pull up to Seacrest Pier at 5:15 pm, with Northwest Girlchoir Vivace performing. Then it goes back downtown to swap out choirs; with the Vashon Island Chorale on board, it’ll visit Lowman Beach at 8:50 pm Saturday, and then sail back along West Seattle’s west-facing shoreline, to reach Alki Beach for a stop at 9:40. All three of those stops are supposed to have bonfires, by the way. If you can’t catch the Christmas Ship on Saturday, it will make one more WS stop — Sunday, 7:10 pm, Don Armeni, also with a bonfire. The full schedule is linked from our WS Holiday Stuff page, as are other holiday activities in WS this weekend, including tonight’s tree lighting @ Our Lady of Guadalupe. (We’ll be out tree-shopping too, and planning to post a price-check here at some point!)

Stay away from 35th

December 8, 2006 9:16 am
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 |   WS breaking news

35th is blocked off right now south of the Austin vicinity. WS Blogger Spouse had to detour onto a side street … and a couple more of those streets are blocked off too. Lots of police. Not sure what’s going on — WSBS is going back to see how close it’s possible to get to check it out.

Deputy Cox’s funeral Friday morning

December 7, 2006 9:48 pm
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 |   Crime | Not WS but we're mentioning it anyway

It’s open to the public.

Tonight we drove through White Center’s main commercial district for the first time since last weekend’s shooting, right past the roadside memorial south of Roxbury, marveling at how it brimmed with flowers, glowed with candles. Business and school marquees around the area bear words of tribute for the fallen hero. It’s hard to believe it all happened just a couple miles from where we live. A P-I writer brings it closer to home in this column, tying into the story of Cafe Rozella on the border between West Seattle and White Center, a cool coffeehouse we ventured into for the first time just a few days before Deputy Cox’s violent, tragic end.

To Alki, or not to Alki

December 7, 2006 7:39 pm
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 |   West Seattle online

This is a fascinating discussion.

Starring the stripes

December 7, 2006 9:18 am
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 |   Transportation | WS miscellaneous

Update on The Junction’s new “raised crosswalks”: Junction Dave (see comments on our complaint post below) was right. The city not only was “on it,” sometime in the past 24 hours or so, they got crews out to put the first round of striping on the bumps. After “Molson” (also from comments on the same post below) reported a striping sighting last night, we checked it out this morning, and indeed, each side of each “raised crosswalk” has a pair of triangular stripes, pointing up and ahead.

Is it enough?

After a car hit and killed Tatsuo Nakata last month at 47th and Admiral, the city promised safety improvements to the crosswalk there. Now comes word of a community meeting a week from Monday, at which city reps will talk about what they plan to do — according to a meeting notice forwarded to us, it’s two “curb bulbs” in the area, plus replacement of some “warning sign(s).” Is that enough? Some had been calling for a stoplight. If you want to have a say, the meeting will be at 6 pm Dec. 18, Hiawatha Community Center.

Just in time for Pet-mas?

December 6, 2006 11:07 pm
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 |   West Seattle businesses

Website for Mud Bay says its pet-food-etc. store in the Admiral District opens next week.

Car-coffee countdown

You’d think it would have been relatively simple to turn the ex-Rainier Roaster into the future drive-thru Starbucks. Out with the rotisserie/in with the espresso machines, up with the sign, hello world. But noooooo. Exterior work has been going on for what seems like weeks; we’ve wondered if they’re perhaps planning to gold-plate the building. However, this might be a sign of progress: Another permit for the project just got issued today … for installing “alarm and video equipment.” And the store is now listed on the SBUX website as “coming soon.”

2 wheels, 1 plan

As the Times notes this morning, the city has now rolled out draft maps for its “bicycle master plan,” including how it would affect our side of the bay. You can take a closer look by opening this map (and hitting “zoom” about a dozen times to get up close and personal with WS streets). The dark-blue dotted lines mark streets where bike lanes would be set aside. The Times story singles out one of those routes, 35th south of High Point, as “controversial,” without elaborating. Most of Fauntleroy also is marked as potential bike-lane turf, though the Morgan Junction intersection with Cali Ave is black-lined, which means “needs further study.” The city’s still taking comments on all this, including a meeting tomorrow night in South Seattle, so if something about the draft map worries you or thrills you, you’ve got time to pipe up before the official plan is out next year.

Liked the old crosswalks better

After a few weeks of walking and driving over the new “raised crosswalks” in The Junction, we’re certain we liked the old non-raised crosswalks better. Under the streetlights, the slight bumps are such a subtle difference from the pavement, they’re not as visible as the old painted stripes were, and drivers seem less aware that they might need to stop. We almost got taken out ourselves the other night; feels like we’d be safer jaywalking. You suppose maybe the city could at least rustle up some sort of reflective paint for the sides of the “speed bumps,” so they’d be visible from afar, like this?

Tonight’s WS Holiday Stuff highlight

December 5, 2006 6:33 am
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 |   Holidays | WS culture/arts

From our Holiday Stuff page (which also includes this weekend’s Christmas Ship stops, among other things): 7 pm tonight, Chief Sealth HS Commons, the Westside Symphonette‘s holiday concert … free!

A WS connection, after all

December 5, 2006 6:10 am
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 |   West Seattle news

According to this morning’s Times, King County Sheriff’s Deputy Steve Cox’s killer, Raymond Porter, “had been living in West Seattle.” Don’t know where; you can look up whether sex offenders are living in your neighborhood, but as far as we know, there’s no way to find out if you’ve got neighbors who happen to be any other type of felon.

Healing and hope

December 4, 2006 7:12 pm
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 |   Not WS but we're mentioning it anyway

The regional Church Council has announced an Interfaith Service of Hope tomorrow night at the White Center office of the King County Sheriff’s Department, to pray for Deputy Steve Cox and his killer.