Wednesday late-afternoon miscellany

April 16, 2008 5:50 pm
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 |   Fun stuff to do | West Seattle history | West Seattle online

THE GROUCHOS OF NORTHERN PIGEON POINT: Have been meaning to share West Seattle writer Mark Bourne‘s Grouchos writeup on Film.com, for anyone who didn’t catch it when it was aggregated on our More page.

WATER AND WALKING: Chas Redmond happened onto this city page re: the Westcrest Park reservoir’s history. He was doing research for this project; another public workshop’s coming up in South Seattle on April 30. Another project he’s involved in, West Seattle Walking Trails (originally reported here), is progressing — a grant application to fund some of the wayfinding kiosks has made it to the next stage of a process that has several more months to go; meantime, tomorrow he and Feet First reps will brief the Seattle Design Commission (agenda here) on the entire project.

WEST SEATTLE COMMUNITY GARAGE SALE DAY UPDATE: 40+ sales signed up so far for the 4th annual version of the big all-over-West-Seattle selling and shopping day May 10th, from individual sales to school/block sales — if you don’t want to register a sale because you’d have only have a few things to sell, there’s a location offering you space – get the latest WSCGSD info (including of course how to register) by going here (we’re updating that site, westseattlegaragesale.com, daily; if you have any questions before or after registering, please e-mail garagesale@westseattleblog.com).

Return of the rings: Beach-fire season reopens on Alki

April 16, 2008 2:43 pm
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 |   West Seattle beaches | West Seattle news | West Seattle parks

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Four days after a WSB’er e-mailed us wondering where the Alki fire rings had gone (we posted about it here), city Parks Department spokesperson Dewey Potter told us they’ve just been brought back — so freshly returned, in fact, when we subsequently dashed over to get a photo, we could still see the tire tracks in the sand. Potter also reminds us the rules ‘n’ regulations for beach fires can be found here.

City offers $ savings on your next lawn mower

If you bag the gas-powered mower, the city will subsidize part of the cost of an electric or push replacement:Read More

Camp Long to be featured on KUOW radio this afternoon

April 16, 2008 1:00 pm
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 |   West Seattle parks

Camp Long‘s Sheila Brown is interviewed during “Sound Focus,” 2:20 pm. (Should be archived on the same site later if you miss it.) Incidentally, 6:30 pm tonight at Camp Long, it’s the next of six West Seattle meetings on the Parks Department’s draft Strategic Plan — your best chance to sound off on where you want the city parks system’s focus to be (more of something? less of something?) in the years to come.

Fauntleroy Church bell-ringing countdown about to start

April 16, 2008 11:52 am
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 |   West Seattle history | West Seattle religion | West Seattle video

That’s a quick look up at the steeple/bell tower at Fauntleroy Church, which is celebrating its centennial this year. As we told you two weeks ago, starting this Saturday, the church bell will be rung daily at noon for 100 days, counting down to the centennial-celebration weekend July 25-27. People are signing up in the church lobby to take turns ringing the bell during those 100 days, in honor of birthdays, anniversaries, you name it. We got a sneak preview of the bell-ringing with the help of the Fauntleroy Church parishioner who’s been a member the longest, David Galbraith — whose parents rang the bell on their wedding day in 1917! — and 4-year-old Eli Johnson, a student at the church’s Little Pilgrims School:

FINALLY a coyote sighting at WSB HQ

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For all the coyote sightings we’ve posted here, we’ve never seen one ourselves till five minutes ago – crossing California south of Thistle, heading toward the Thistle greenbelt/staircase. (Photos courtesy intrepid Patrick the Sales Guy, who grabbed the camera and headed outside while your editor here stood transfixed at the window.)

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Reminder that the city provided tips on coexisting with coyotes and urban wildlife at a presentation earlier this year; WSB coverage here. (It’s breeding season, so sightings are likely to be more frequent; follow some of the advice in that report and your chances of an unwanted run-in will be reduced.)

Newest Myrtle Reservoir park design is now online

April 16, 2008 9:40 am
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle parks

Just got word from the Parks Department – the new “approved schematic design,” including space set aside for a “future skate spot” along 35th, is now online at the Myrtle Reservoir park’s official project page, along with a reminder about the May 1st public meeting. Here’s a direct link to see the design; our Monday follow-up clarifying the “skate spot” status is here.

Crime Watch: Another multiple-burglary suspect caught

April 16, 2008 8:32 am
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 |   Crime | West Seattle news | West Seattle police

handcuffs_2.jpgOne more update from last night’s West Seattle Community Safety Partnership meeting (see the traffic-improvements report and added car-prowl details below): Community Police Team officer Adonis Topacio says at least three recent local burglaries have been linked to a suspect with a criminal history — and right now, Topacio said, he’s in custody in Florida, where he had gone to visit relatives even though leaving the state was a probation violation. Police are working to see how many burglaries in all might be linked to this suspect; this time, Topacio said, “looks like he’s going to be spending a lot of time in jail.”

Arson-victim help: Raffle tickets on sale now

April 16, 2008 6:03 am
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 |   How to help | West Seattle fires | West Seattle news

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No arrests yet, almost 4 weeks after the arson that gutted Puget Sound Key and Lock in Morgan Junction. WSB Forum Community members are not only inviting you to a get-together Saturday night to raise some $ to help the business reopen, they’re also selling raffle tickets ahead of time so you can pitch in — and get a chance at great prizes donated by generous businesses — without even attending Saturday night if you have other plans. You can buy tickets at Admiral Pub tonight and tomorrow night, 7-8 pm, to win M’s tickets, gym memberships, artwork, massage(s), and more! The winning tickets will be announced at the community get-together/fundraiser, also at Admiral Pub, 6-9 pm Saturday. You don’t need to be present to win. Raffle tickets also available at the get-together (and families are welcome, since Admiral Pub is all-ages till 9 pm; more info in this WSB Forum thread), as well as during the West Seattle Community Recognition Awards gathering 7-8 pm Friday at Capers in The Junction (stop in and say hi if you can) — and you can even e-mail to get in on the raffle: wsbforum@gmail.com will connect you with the Forum Community members who are handling it.

WS Safety Partnership tonight: Traffic-trouble help on the way

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On our way to tonight’s West Seattle Community Safety Partnership meeting at the Southwest Precinct, we spotted that radar-powered speed sign along westbound Morgan, just west of 40th, where people barrel down the hill toward Fauntleroy/California (we only registered 7 mph because we had to slow down for the photo!). This was a timely sighting because most of the WSCSP meeting was about this type of solution to some of West Seattle’s traffic problems — the method the experts refer to as “traffic calming” — here’s some of what’s in store, and where:Read More

Next step toward shaping your neighborhood’s future

In the wake of last week’s Design Review Board meeting for two major Junction proposals, a commenter wondered rhetorically where she/he was when the official Neighborhood Plans were being drawn up years ago – plans that today’s development must fit into. Those plans will be updated soon, and if you’d like to get involved, a good first step would be a workshop this Saturday morning at City Hall. Can’t upload the flyer right this second but you can read it on the Miller Park blog – it’s for anyone anywhere in the city.

Arbor Heights “masked bandits” caught on camera

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From “Trick” in Arbor Heights, who thought his pix might suit the lighter side of Crime Watch, once he survived the two-on-one staredown!

Reader report: Someone who cared enough … to paint

Out of the WSB inbox, from Paul (the report he refers to from yesterday can be found here):

The 6053 California property, that you have (run yesterday) in your blog, has been continually attacked by taggers and graffiti. It had a severe attack again last week on the opposite 2 sides that were shown in your picture.

Saturday afternoon, when I drove into the alley I spotted a man with paint and roller next to his car. I was suspicious and approached him in my gruffest block-watch-nosey-neighbor way. He said hello and said he hated graffiti and was going to paint. This caught me completely off guard. I asked him if he was a new property manager. He said no, he was just a concerned neighbor that lived on 66th. (? this was a little vague).

But anyway, he took white paint and covered all the graffiti and cleaned the paint off a local contractor’s panel truck. It was a miracle! Never has a stranger drove in that alley to do good.

I am ashamed that I did not pay closer attention to the man’s name but I want to see that his efforts are recognized. I would like to thank Dick from 66th ave. (?) for painting and cleaning the alley along 6053 California. Thank you. Your efforts have encouraged me.

I was going to send you a picture of a blank white brick wall to go along with this story. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Aggressive car prowler alert

This time, the alert comes straight from Lt. Steve Paulsen @ Southwest Precinct, who asked that we share this with you:

(Starting with the recent spring vacations), the Harbor Ave SW area has been inundated with carprowls … The suspects are bold and aggressive. They will wait for vehicles to park, then once the owner leaves they commit their crime. The suspects are prowling cars parked on the street and local businesses. We are working this issue aggressively with patrols and followup work from our detectives. We hope to get some success out of this. Citizens need to be reminded to keep valuables out of cars, particularly laptops.

We’d second that one, having seen countless cases of car break-ins where laptops, iPods, and GPS systems were the loot. 9:07 PM UPDATE: Just back from the West Seattle Community Safety Partnership meeting, where we learned more about this — Officer Brian Ballew said last night alone, there were about half a dozen in the Salty’s vicinity during a 2-hour period; there’s surveillance video showing possible suspects so that’s being reviewed now.

West Seattle author has something to crow about

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Last June, the subject of that unusually colored crow came up in the comments on this post, back when we were still anonymous, so we never let on that it lived practically outside our front door. But now it’s making news again, sort of, as one of the birds mentioned in the upcoming book that made a West Seattle author a finalist for a prestigious prize. Lyanda Lynn Haupt has been honored as a finalist for a 2008 J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Prize, on behalf of “Crow Planet” — which one judge said “promises to be a fascinating and original book” giving us a window into the lives of these ubiquitous, yet mysterious, birds. Read the full citation here; more about the author at her website here. Now, as for the particular crow, known at WSB HQ as “the golden crow” (now spending time further east), she says:

Partially albinistic or leucistic crows — birds with white or light patches of feathers — are somewhat common. In albinism, all pigment is lacking; in leucism, some pigment is lacking (feathers are normally colored with layers of pigment, so if one of the color layers is missing, the feathers will be lighter or differently colored). But a fully leucistic crow like “Leucy,” as my 9-year-old daughter calls it, is quite rare. Notice that even the “bare parts” as they are called — the bill, feet, etc. are also light. Very cool bird.

Alki sidewalk project follow-up: Design “proceeding,” for now

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Two weeks ago, at the contentious Alki Community Center meeting (WSB coverage from that night is here) about the proposed sidewalk project along an area consisting mostly of the north side of Alki Ave’s west end (shown above), one citizen asked city reps what kind of process would be needed to stop the project. The city promised to check into it, but had no quick answer because they’d never been asked to cancel this type of citizen-initiated (background here) project before. We just checked with Seattle Transportation Department communications boss Rick Sheridan to see if they’d come up with the answer. Short version — no; he tells WSB, “We are having internal discussions about it, but no formal decision has been made yet.” Meantime, Sheridan says feedback from the meeting and “other sources” is being processed, and adds, “In the near term, we will proceed with the project’s design while continuing to work with adjacent property owners and the community.” By the way, the presentation from the 4/2 meeting is available online now (see it here), with the various options the city presented, including a one-way alternative that pretty much died on the spot that night. And if you have feedback about the Alki sidewalk project, SDOT’s Sandra (Sam) Woods is the person to e-mail, sandra.woods@seattle.gov is her address.

Junction Association update #2: Latest on Pet Fest

April 15, 2008 11:48 am
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 |   Fun stuff to do | Pets | West Seattle news

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Courtesy of the LOLcat generator @ Seattle-based ICanHasCheezburger.com … our illustration for the fact we have more details on the “Ugliest Dog/Ugliest Cat in West Seattle” contest under way now in advance of the West Seattle Junction Association‘s first-ever Pet Fest, 10 am-4 pm April 27. As we mentioned last week, you can enter your pet now by visiting Next to Nature, where Louis Lujan explains they’re not really asking you to declare your beloved pet “ugly,” but rather, more like a “funniest-looking” pet (or pet photo) situation — Louis tells WSB, “It’s supposed to provide a few lighthearted chuckles … We’d gladly accept some animals that are just having ‘bad-hair days’ or ones that are dressed up to be ‘ugly’.” Dogs will be judged “in person” on Pet Fest day; cats will be judged by fest-goers viewing their photos (out of respect for the fact most cats don’t like crowd situations); photos in either category should be entered ASAP at NTN in The Junction. Later today, one more Junction Association update – the newest details on what’s in the works for Summer Fest in July!

Deadline Day: Where to get your return postmarked by midnight

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That’s a West Seattle scene from earlier this tax-preparing season; in February, WSB contributing photojournalist Matt Durham caught Megan Legua and Irine Rodriguez strolling through The Junction in their Liberty Tax Service-provided costumes. For that firm, for the local H&R Block (WSB sponsor) offices, and for countless CPAs and other tax experts — plus those who choose to go it alone — this is crunch day. If you’re sending your return by postal mail, the Postal Service says there is a grand total of ONE Seattle-vicinity post office where you can get it postmarked all the way up till midnight: 15250 32nd Avenue South (map). (Other Western Washington locations are listed here; listed hours for West Seattle’s two post offices are till 6 pm @ Westwood, till 5 pm @ Junction.)

Road worrier? 2 meetings of interest tonight

April 15, 2008 9:54 am
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 |   Crime | Safety | Transportation | West Seattle news

HOW’S THE CITY SPENDING YOUR MONEY? The Bridging the Gap Citizen Oversight Committee is having its quarterly meeting tonight in West Seattle, 6:30 pm @ Youngstown Arts Center. Read more about the committee and the meeting here. They keep an eye on how the city is spending the money from the BTG levy.

“TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT” QUESTIONS? IDEAS? Luke Korpi, senior engineer with the city Transportation Department, is the guy to ask/tell – and tonight, he’s the guest at the West Seattle Community Safety Partnership monthly meeting, 7 pm, Southwest Precinct meeting room (Delridge & Webster, east of Home Depot). This is also the monthly meeting attended by key police personnel from SWP with briefings on West Seattle crime trends and opportunities for you to tell/ask them about concerns in your neighborhood.

4th annual West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day update

April 15, 2008 7:01 am
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 |   Community Garage Sale Day | Fun stuff to do

garagesaledaysmalllog.jpgHaven’t decided yet if you’re going to have a sale on West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day (9 am-3 pm Saturday, May 10; official website here)? Check out the Top 10 Reasons to Have a Garage Sale! In the case of WSCGSD, another top reason is to join in a communitywide event — maybe even get to know your neighbors better by having a block sale — if you don’t want to have an individual sale, have a block (3 or more homes) or business/organization/school sale — we’ve got some great-sounding ones already in the nearly three dozen sales that are on the list so far. Get on the map (literally) – plan your sale and sign up online (go here) or by mail (download the form here, or pick up a copy at one of the locations listed here). We’ve added a few extras this year including a “Best Sign” contest (here’s some inspiration from last summer; wasn’t part of WSCGSD but sure caught our eye). Registration’s open till April 25; even if you’re more a shopper than a seller, mark your calendar for May 10 and get ready to shop till … you know. P.S. Shopper alert, this weekend is the granddaddy of all Seattle community garage sale days, the one that inspired Megawatt in 2005 to start one in West Seattle — 9 am-3 pm Saturday (April 19) is Greenwood Garage Sale Day, a tradition that’s been going on for more than a decade now; help build ours to match (maybe eclipse) theirs!

Junction Association updates: It’s not just about development

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It’s no secret that entering West Seattle, Junction-bound, from the “Fauntleroy Triangle” area, you’re not exactly greeted with an inspirational view (photos above were taken as we drove westbound on Fauntleroy during the Saturday-afternoon sunshine). But you might be interested to hear that in this time of transition (related topic below), there’s a move afoot to change that — spearheaded by local leaders including West Seattle-residing Seattle City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen and West Seattle Junction Association president Dave Montoure. They’re strategizing a way to beautify the “gateway to West Seattle,” and working on a strategy meeting to be held later this month. In a recent chat with WSB, Montoure — proprietor of West 5 — also talked about a new way that his establishment and the Junction’s other food businesses are going green — and making history in the process:Read More

Miles away, yet close to home: Year-round rescue tug

April 14, 2008 7:55 pm
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 |   Environment | Not WS but we're mentioning it anyway

Technically, this is happening more than 100 miles away. tenyomaru.jpgBut the water it protects flows to and from West Seattle shores, and as we were discussing this afternoon with a WS entrepreneur who’s on the governor’s Oil Spill Advisory CouncilGreg Whittaker of Alki Kayak Tours — it’s a big deal for all of Puget Sound. (The last major disaster in that area, the Tenyo Maru sinking [NOAA photo left], happened a few months after we moved here; the memories remain vivid.)