Geek capital of the …

Not sure if all this is enough to qualify WS as Geek Capital of the World. (Though we aspiring geeks at WS Blog World HQ think it’s a great place to be.) But two upcoming WS events are noteworthy for those with technotendencies: This Saturday, Alki is one of three spots for Seattle Wireless Field Day; in a few weeks, Youngstown Arts Center will host Seattle Mind Camp 3.0.

O2 no more

Thanks to a WSB reader for writing to inquire why the number for O2, the Cali Ave restaurant launched by Ovio, was disconnected. Reminded us that we had seen a liquor-license ap several weeks ago for the same address under the name “Beato Food and Wine”; went by O2 back then, saw no signs of change, forgot about it till now. But today, there it is in the window — a sign saying O2 is closed but Beato will open soon. (The sign also touts a website that as is usually the case with these things, isn’t up yet. Argh.)

Is no news good news?

At least once a week, someone writes to ask if we’ve heard anything new about the longstanding rumor that Trader Joe’s will sweep triumphantly into West Seattle, at last relieving so many of us of the need to frequent Burien. Got another such note today and we’re thinking it’s time to publicly say, we unfortunately have not heard a word of anything new. The rumors for a while circulated around the future development near Metropolitan Market … which doesn’t even seem remotely close to groundbreaking anyway. But we know the WSB visitorship includes a few insiders from the business and development communities; if anyone cares to share any inside scoop, we promise your anonymity’s safe with us …

Bye-bye, Raj

October 23, 2006 1:13 pm
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 |   West Seattle schools | WS breaking news

We didn’t think he was long for this world after the School Board smackdown of his Phase II Closure Recommendation last Wednesday, just hours after it came out. And now comes the news – superintendent Raj Manhas is leaving.

Last chance

October 23, 2006 4:25 am
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 |   West Seattle politics

If you want a chance to decide on all the hot topics and hot races on the fall ballot — have a say on strip-club rules (Seattle Ref 1), special deals for sports stadiums (Seattle I-91), Hizzoner’s road tax (Seattle Prop 1), The Exec’s bus tax (King Co. Prop 2), etc. — today’s your last chance to register to vote, if you’re not registered already. But you gotta do it in person.

Good wine for a good cause

October 22, 2006 10:29 pm
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 |   WS miscellaneous

Now that the weekend’s over … you don’t have to wait till next weekend to have fun. Just discovered an exceptionally worthy-sounding wine tasting & auction happening here in West Seattle, this Thursday, to raise $ for WS Helpline. You can even buy discount tickets online.

Fauntleroy’s fish

October 22, 2006 9:56 am
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 |   Environment | Fauntleroy | Wildlife

The annual salmon drumming at Fauntleroy Creek, 5 pm today, isn’t just another event. If you are relatively new to WS, you probably haven’t heard how this creek made a comeback. It’s easy to drive by or use the Fauntleroy ferry dock without ever knowing about the charming little creek overlook area (and its spectacular spring hedge of Darwin’s barberry) right across the street. It’s been six years now since the restoration, which brought inspiring success, but over subsequent years, heartache too. It’s a little beacon of hope that we haven’t lost (or destroyed) everything that’s pure and true and original about our beautiful home, so the salmon need every ounce of energetic encouragement you can give them by joining the welcome-home party tonight.

It’s not ALL shouting, scuffling, and rabble-rousing

In fact, there’s an olive branch of sorts extended right now across the north side of the Fauntleroy walkover — a huge banner reading THANK U, SCHOOL BOARD. Couldn’t tell in the dark if it was courtesy of Cooper, Pathfinder, or both. But it deserves a little notice while the Wednesday night rumble is still getting play.


October 21, 2006 1:41 pm
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 |   Westwood | WS & Sports

… to West Seattle HS for the Huling Bowl victory against Chief Sealth last night. While we walked around Westwood Village in the same time frame (see below), we couldn’t miss the raucous cheers (and band drums) echoing from the field to the north.

H*ll with Halloween, Noel’s a-knockin’

Christmas stuff keeps coming out earlier and earlier every year. This year seems more out-o-control than ever. Three examples are in full force at Westwood Village as we write: The Rite-Aid Halloween stuff is already on sale, with Christmas creeping into the aisles; in the “seasonal” section @ Target, it’s already gotten to the point where cute-n-cuddly Animated Lighted Sea Lions (for your yard) are rubbing elbows, er, flippers with the Animated Teeth-Chattering Skeletons; and Pier 1’s window signs proclaim this to be Ornament Preview time. WAIT UNTIL HALLOWEEN’S BODY IS COLD, FOR GOD’S SAKE! ISN’T NOVEMBER FIRST EARLY ENOUGH?

Meantime, if you are doing early holiday shopping anyway, here’s a sincere recommendation: The 2007 West Seattle Calendar. Here’s where you can buy it. (Honestly, who needs “16 Months of Precious Pugs” when you can represent for WS Pride!)

Construction updates

October 21, 2006 9:34 am
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 |   Seen around town | Triangle

Got a closer look Friday at two of the higher-profile projects around WS: In The Junction, raised-crosswalk work has begun with an extensive dig-up on the east side of the southern block (near Petco). One observer noted he thinks the city should be putting up ground-lit crosswalks (as in White Center) instead of these speed-bump crosswalks. Too late now … Over at the ex-Rainier Roaster, workers were doing something with the second-story siding as the drive-thru Starbucks transformation rolls on. Wondered if they’re going to turn the 2-story building into a 1-story facility for SBUX, but the permit aps say “non-structural improvements.”

Admiral accident

West Seattle might make the news again tonight, thanks to yet another car crash. We saw at least two tv camerapeople getting video of a car that smacked into a brick column in front of the Admiral Heights complex on California just north of Admiral earlier this afternoon.

What’s up around West Seattle this weekend

October 20, 2006 12:15 pm
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 |   WS culture/arts | WS Weekend Lineup

And now, from our weekly sampling of What’s Up Around WS This Weekend (starting today — doesn’t everyone want a three-day weekend?) … as always, we don’t claim that this is all-inclusive … but fun nonetheless: Youngstown Arts Center is a jumpin’ place again this weekend, with events including “Ghost Game” dinner theater tonight and “The Night Parade” (featuring trapeze performances) on Saturday night … Fauntleroy Creek is a hive of excitement this weekend, with a Megawatt “field trip” on Saturday (you need to sign up, if they have room left) and drumming at 5 pm Sunday to call the salmon home … Then there’s lots of live music, including The Bend and The Quiet Ones @ Easy Street tonight, a full weekend of bands at Skylark Cafe … if you like bingo, the West Seattle Senior Center schedule says it’s Halloween Rainbow Bingo tonight … fun for the family with a marionette puppet show at Alki Community Center on Saturday afternoon … and “Tick, Tick … BOOM!” continues this weekend at ArtsWest; LATE ADD: how could we forget the Huling Bowl, WSHS vs. Chief Sealth, 7 pm tonight at the stadium next to SW Community Center! … As we say every Friday, please leave a comment or e-mail us to let us know anything cool that we’re missing!

Maybe they’ll be home for Thanksgiving …

October 19, 2006 7:39 pm
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 |   Transportation

… the city road-work crews, that is. (Perhaps even including the lady with the My Little Pony backpack.) The latest official update says work in The Junction could take up to three more weeks, now that crews have moved on to the “raised crosswalks” (aka mega-speed bumps).

Pathfinder/Cooper merger iced after all

October 19, 2006 4:18 am
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle schools

Didn’t stay up to watch the rest of the turbulent School Board meeting (see below) – woke up early to find out it ended with an unexpected vote that iced the Pathfinder/Cooper merger and everything else left in the superintendent’s “Phase 2” plan. According to this morning’s P-I story, West Seattle school board rep Irene Stewart explained, in proposing the sudden vote, “I don’t think anybody needs to go through this for two more weeks.” (As the Times also notes, the board originally wasn’t supposed to vote on the plan till Nov. 1.) So our prediction turned out to come true after all, albeit in an unexpected way.

It’s getting ugly

Just happened to catch the school board meeting live on tv. Stopped to listen for Pathfinder testimony … after a couple of fairly mellow people from Pathfinder (and a West Seattle guy who sends his kids cross-town to another alternative school that’s threatened with “consolidation”), the public speakers turned to a more broad focus, including some quite incisive rabble-rousing, and a confrontation ensued. Something about a guy threatening one of the speakers. Hard to tell in those wide-angle public-access tv shots, but looked like someone might have gotten arrested or at least thrown out of the meeting. Wow. Will have to look for the online replay later.

Also not closing …

… any time soon, anyway … The Viaduct. The state’s done analyzing results from the inspection during last weekend’s shutdown; they say it “settled” just a little teeny tiny itsy bit since last checkup, and it’s still, like, kind of OK for us to drive on, but they promise to fix it if it settles just a little teeny tiny itsy bit more. Uh, guys and gals, any reason not to just put it up on the rack now and get goin’ with that? Given that the looming Greg vs. Chris Deathmatch over Tunnel Of No Love may leave us stuck with it for a long time …

We guessed wrong

The superintendent’s final recommendations just came out, and he’s not backing down from the Pathfinder/Cooper merger. But he did decide not to close Roxhill after all. The final word rests with the school board, in two weeks. UPDATE: Here’s the P-I story, with Roxhill reaction; there’s also some in the Times writeup.

Time machine

October 18, 2006 4:38 am
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 |   West Seattle online

We’ve mentioned the Seattle city online photo archives before. Many of these photos were taken for relatively mundane motives, say, documenting big public-works projects. (If you want to look at the Myrtle Street reservoir/tower construction from every angle, for example, this collection could put you over the moon. And check out this view of what preceded the Fairmount Park field along Fauntleroy.) But tucked into the archives are a few surprises, such as this pic that can be regarded as a reminder of the kaleidoscope of differences between wartime then and wartime now.

Will the Pathfinderites pull it out again?

October 17, 2006 7:45 pm
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 |   Genesee Hill | West Seattle schools

By this time tomorrow night, we should know whether the intensely unpopular Pathfinder-Cooper takeover merger consolidation shotgun marriage WHATEVER will make it into School Boss Raj’s final “School Closures, Phase II” recommendation, or not. If I were a betting person, I’d say … not. Way too much heat. Even the teachers’ union is cranking up the heat. We predict Pathfinder will just wind up staying put on Genesee Hill a while longer and after all the drama of the past year-plus, being almost giddily happy about it. P.S. In tomorrow’s Herald, the editor tries again, mightily, to make up for the “huge egos” insult against the PF group two issues ago.

Progress a-brewing

October 17, 2006 4:27 pm
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 |   Triangle | WS beverages

Almost three weeks after the ex-Rainier Roaster/future-drivethru-Starbucks site near 35th & Fauntleroy closed, some signs of progress … a chain-link construction fence is up … more remodeling permits are in the works. Of course we feel compelled to mention you do have other options for drive-thru coffee in the meantime … including Red Cup in The Junction and Sleepless near Alki.

Promises, promises

Yet more of those Seattle Prop 1 signs are up, many more captioned “Fix This Street!” than “More Bike Trails!”, and now that’s really starting to ring like a false promise — we’ve looked at the collateral (starts on page 33 of this City Voters’ Guide; the ordinance placing it on the ballot can be read in full here), and we’re just not seeing specifics on exactly which streets they’re promising these extra taxes will fix.

Meantime, on the state level, would you recognize your state legislators if you were standing next to them at the supermarket? Might as well have a look. All three of them have Republican opponents for this election — here’s the matchup for state senator, for  “position 1” state rep, and for “position 2” state rep. (Click the “statement” links on those pages, and you’ll see their photos.)

Deadly crash closes Delridge

October 16, 2006 5:44 pm
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 |   Delridge | West Seattle news

Part of West Seattle’s easternmost “major arterial” was out of commission for hours this afternoon because of a car-truck crash at Delridge & Orchard. The Seattle Times just posted an update saying one victim died. Here’s what tv channel 7 says about the crash; channel 4 has a few more details including police saying that red-light-running may have been to blame.