West Seattle, Washington
Two months after the south half of the pavement repairs on 26th SW between Barton and Roxbury, the north half is under way. SDOT says this is the notice circulated in the neighborhood:
The project plan followed complaints brought to the Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council in March, after many months of increased bus traffic on 26th that rattled and battered pavement while residents reported shaking in their homes.
P.S. Thanks to Gill for the tip on this!
The idea of turning the six tennis courts west of Southwest Pool into an indoor tennis center is still in the early exploration stage.
But that’s the stage at which it’s important to talk things through, a lot, and about 50 people showed up to do that on Tuesday night at Chief Sealth International High School.
Lisa Corbin is the community member leading the campaign. She explained how the idea originated four years ago – the backstory’s on this fact sheet – and that a city Small and Simple grant was paying for a feasibility study by Jack Kamrath of Tennis Planning Consultants.
Kamrath said he’s in town to get the next part of that study going and expects to have it finished by summer’s end. The next phase will look at the potential market for the center and will focus on finding out how many people play tennis “from time to time” in order to gauge potential demand, which then would determine how many courts are needed. He’s already done two mapping surveys, one to determine how many people live within 15 minutes’ driving distance and how many live within 18 minutes. Those numbers, he said, range from 360,000 people to nearly 515,000.
Building this kind of structure, he said, would take about six months once permits are issued. The site (formerly part of the Denny International Middle School campus, still owned by Seattle Public Schools) already has power, water, sewer, drainage infrastructure in place; along with the courts, which would need to be refinished, it would have restrooms and storage areas. So far, Kamrath said, discussions that he and Corbin have had with the city have not turned up any major speedbumps.
Questions included what the center would cost. As noted in the FAQ sheet made available, it’s estimated to be around $4 million. It’s expected that would come “from multiple public and private sources” (though NOT school-district funds). And it would be self-sustaining once operational, bringing in money from lessons, court fees, and league play. It would likely be managed by a concessionaire, much the same way that Premier manages city golf courses. Too soon to say how all this would balance out with school use. And if you are recalling that the site was mentioned as a potential future elementary school, the FAQ says the district has told the group they don’t envision school construction on the site “for at least the next 28 years.”
Watch here for word of the next community meeting and other updates.
11:56 AM: Thanks to the texter who tipped us to this: Seattle City Light is investigating a power outage in the Westwood area. Its map shows 44 customers (homes/businesses) without electricity, north of Roxbury and east of 27th SW. No cause is listed yet, but the texter reported hearing an “explosion” – no Seattle Fire dispatches in the area, though.
3:08 PM: Just checked – still out, after more than three hours. SCL’s map attributes the outage to “equipment failure” and guesstimates that power will be restored by early evening.
6:41 PM: According to the SCL map, the power’s back on.
Two West Seattle biznotes, both from 35th and Barton.
YES, TONY’S MARKET WILL OPEN: It’s been the most-asked question in the WSB inbox for weeks now – will the family-owned produce stand Tony’s Market ever reopen? We have been going by daily for weeks and haven’t seen anyone to ask; the phone number’s out of service; other ways of trying to find out just didn’t work. Today, someone texted us that activity had been sighted at the red/white/green tent, so we headed that way. Yes, the stand WILL open, in a week to week and a half, we learned. No other details but for those fearing that Tony’s would not reopen this season at all, there’s the answer. Last year, the market didn’t reopen until May 1st, attributing the later-than-previously-usual start to site work including parking-lot rehab.
PROPEL BIODIESEL WILL CLOSE: While taking the photo of Tony’s from the other side of Barton, we noticed this sign on the Propel biodiesel pump island:
It’s been eight years since the little biodiesel station opened on the north side of what was then an Exxon station and mini-mart, and has since become a 7-11. According to this online reply to a disappointed customer, Propel is focusing “on E85 and DieselHPR in California.”
Packed house tonight in the Galleria for the Denny International Middle School STEM Fair. Thanks to Denny principal Jeff Clark for photos:
Thank you to all of our families who came out to celebrate Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math at our Annual STEM Fair!
It was great to a have a packed house to see the amazing projects made by our scholars. Congratulations to all of the Dolphin scientists on a job well done. We are proud of you!
A huge thank you to our awesome science teaching team: Mr. Evans, Ms. Choi, Ms. Sanchez, Mr. Shigenaka, Ms. Rody, Mr. Nelson, and Ms. Kelleher! Go Dolphins!
12:51 PM: Do you have a ticket from last night’s Mega Millions drawing? Check it! We’ve just confirmed that a lottery ticket worth $157 million was sold in West Seattle. A spokesperson for Washington’s Lottery spokesperson that the 35th/Barton 7-11 sold the ticket with last night’s jackpot numbers for Mega Millions. The winner has not yet come forward – spokesperson Ann Marie Ricard tells us that any jackpot past $100 million has to be claimed at Lottery HQ in Olympia. We’ve just talked to the store owner, who says the lottery notified him about the ticket. Winning numbers are: 27-37-54-66-69 plus the Mega Ball 5.
ADDED 1:12 PM: Above, that’s store owner Sunny, who has been the 7-11 franchisee at 35th/Barton since the store opened a little over five years ago. He’s awaiting word on what he gets for selling the winning ticket, which by the way is worth $102 million cash if the winner takes a lump sum.
Meantime, the jackpot winner does have the right to remain anonymous, but the Lottery folks say they’ll let us know if s/he decides otherwise. (Is it you? firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-293-6302 whenever you’re ready to talk!)
9:54 PM: As pointed out in comments, regional media noted that retailers no longer get a share of the jackpot, per a budget measure passed by the Legislature last year, explained here.
10:56 AM: Eight months ago, when Eats Market Café announced it was closing, we reported the plan for Wingstop to take over its space in the heart of Westwood Village. That space has remained vacant and idle since then, but work has finally begun to remodel it for Wingstop – we had been going by periodically to check, and spotted the crew at work this morning. As our photo shows, the space is now completely gutted. A crew member told us that the delay was mostly attributable to a long wait for city permits; they’re hoping to have the restaurant open sometime in May.
While Wingstop is a national chain, this restaurant is being opened by local franchisees from a group headed by include former Seahawks player Sidney Rice, whose fifth one opened in Pierce County a little over a month ago.
2:55 PM: A comment related to this story has led us to one update since the original report – one of Sidney Rice’s former Seahawks teammates is now a Wingstop franchisee and has become the owner of this future store, as confirmed to WSB by a corporate spokesperson – Richard Sherman.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Will Seattle finally ask voters in White Center and the rest of still-unincorporated North Highline to let themselves be annexed?
The answer to that question now rests with the fate of a bill making its way through the Legislature, approved by the State Senate in late January, heard in a State House committee last Friday, and headed for an executive-session discussion in another committee this Wednesday: SSB 5964.
It boosts the amount of state sales tax that can be diverted to the city to cover the cost of annexing (read the full text here).
An update on the bill was part of a briefing the Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council received from the city’s longtime point person on annexation, Kenny Pittman. He spoke during WWRHAH’s February meeting, which was focused on the status of the Westwood-Highland Park Residential Urban Village and how neighboring White Center might play into it if annexation happens.
While the city waits to see if the bill gets final legislative approval this year, the annexation proposal is on hold with the King County Boundary Review Board, which would have to give its blessing before the proposal could go before voters, as would the Seattle City Council, which has had major turnover – four of its nine members – since giving approval to an early step in the process last summer.
With the city updating its Comprehensive Plan now, via the Seattle 2035 process, WWRHAH is not content to just let this all play out and then wonder how Westwood and White Center might become part of some sort of coherent planning process later. So this month’s discussion was intended as something of a jump-start. WWRHAH, explained co-chair Amanda Kay Helmick, wants to create a joint plan that includes White Center: “Something for people to vote on!”
That underscore: If there’s a chance White Center and vicinity might become part of Seattle within a few years, why wouldn’t planning already be under way, since the city is close to launching its vision for the next 20 years?
The answer seemed to be, in part, that the planning still might be inadequate on this side of the city/county line.
A WSB reader found the stolen car reported here last Friday. Mel reported her cousin’s green 2000 Honda CR-V was taken from the Westwood Village parking lot at 25th/Barton; today JH called police to report spotting it less than two miles away at 17th/Myrtle, and then e-mailed us with the news, adding that it’s not the first stolen car dumped there.
Mel confirms police have since contacted her cousin, who has the car back, “few damages” but some things stolen including “random CDs” and her daughter’s booster seat, but not her son’s car-seat base. Plus: “My back seats were down so it looked like they needed to take something someplace and needed a big enough car for it.” She says big thanks to JH for finding it.
We hope it’ll never happen to you, but if you do lose a car, motorcycle, bicycle, etc. to a thief – once you’ve reported it to police, please let us know so people all over West Seattle can watch for it – email@example.com – or 206-293-6302 for breaking news.
11:31 PM FRIDAY: In West Seattle Crime Watch tonight – two stolen cars in Westwood, one taken, one found.
STOLEN FROM WESTWOOD VILLAGE: Mel reports a cousin’s car was stolen today from the parking lot near QFC at the shopping center. It’s a green 2000 Honda CR-V with license plate AVT1519, big ding on the front passenger side, license plate inside the car’s front passenger side, “Hawaiian warrior head on the rear-view mirror,” and the sign at right is on the passenger back-side window. (“Keiki” is Hawaiian for child.)
FOUND ACROSS FROM WESTWOOD VILLAGE: A texter reported finding this car earlier today and confirming it had been stolen:
It’s a Honda Civic, plate ALV4567. The finder reported it to police – so if it’s yours, hopefully you’ve long since gotten word of that.
12:50 AM SATURDAY P.S. Not related to either of those two cases so far as we know, but – Heidi e-mailed, wondering about a helicopter heard from North Arbor Heights after midnight. According to this tweet, it was Guardian One, helping with an ultimately unsuccessful search for car prowlers in White Center.
Two more West Seattle Crime Watch notes:
SEAVIEW PROWLERS: Just got a call on our 24/7 line (206-293-6302) from a Seaview resident who says two prowlers were in and around his neighbors’ garage, between 47th and 48th and Raymond and Graham, about an hour ago, and took off running when they saw him – descriptive information included white males, beards, hoodies, dark clothing, flashlights. (His neighbors weren’t home at the time but are back now and have been informed, as have police, who he said were in the area looking around.)
MAIL THEFT: Via text, a Westwood-area resident reported: “At 6:45 am on my way to work I noticed mail along 26th SW and 25th SW by SW Thistle. Looks like someone made a spree in opening mailboxes and getting mail and I even saw a few packages open.” The texter was planning to file a police report, last we heard.
Shorewood-on-the-Sound author Sonja Anderson is the star next Friday night (February 5th) at Westwood Village Barnes & Noble, 5-7 pm. Her book is “Sophie’s Quest,” for ages 8-12, in which a mouse and an owl find themselves together aboard a ship headed for the Holy Land. Drop in this Friday night to meet Sonja and see and hear her read from “Sophie’s Quest.” (Purchases made that night, and for five days after, will see part of the proceeds going to SWSHS.)
They’re next door … yet currently, they are officially treated as if they are a world apart: The Westwood/Highland Park Urban Village (WWHPUV) in the city, and White Center in unincorporated King County. This Tuesday night, city and county reps will join the Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council to talk about it all together, including the potential of WC annexation and the Seattle 2035 “comprehensive plan.” If you’re interested in either or both sides of the line, be in the upstairs meeting room at Southwest Library, 6:15 pm Tuesday (February 2nd).
As reported here earlier this week, the play structure at Roxhill Park is now fenced off as Seattle Parks gets going on work to enable to return of the custom-crafted turret originally installed with the rebuilt playground in 2013 and removed for safety concerns in 2014. We checked with Parks to find out how long it was likely to take and a few other details. From spokesperson David Takami:
Our crews, specifically, the Concrete Crew, is indeed starting the work to reinforce the section of the Roxhilll Park play area that supports the turret. The unexpected heaviness of the turret had caused it to lean and the underlying structure to slightly sink. The work involves lifting the underlying structure, pouring a new concrete foundation at that location, and reinforcing the recycled plastic structure supporting the turret. Once that is done, the crew will reinstall the turret. Staff will monitor the turret in the weeks and months after the repair work. I’m not sure of the cost but it will be absorbed as part of our annual maintenance budget. The work is expected to take 2 to 3 weeks.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Tending a community garden requires more than planting, weeding, harvesting.
This week, members of the Barton P-Patch community gathered to talk about problems and solutions.
The meeting was mediated by neighborhood district coordinator Kerry Wade of the city Department of Neighborhoods, which runs the P-Patch Community Garden Program and worked with local gardeners to turn this site from dream to reality four-plus years ago. It’s full of special touches, not the least of which is its community pizza oven, which has been at the heart of neighborhood events.
4:58 PM: Thanks to everyone who called/messaged to ask about an incident at 35th and Barton this past hour. Seattle Fire Engine 37 had already closed out of the call before we could get there, but SFD spokesperson Corey Orvold says it was dispatched as a motorcycle crash. The rider was hurt, but not badly enough to require an SFD medic unit. We are checking to see if the aftermath of the crash is affecting traffic.
5:01 PM: Our crew says the scene is already completely clear.
2:44 PM: It’s reported to be in a detached garage on an alley, and under control.
2:50 PM: Firefighters had to break through a door to get into the garage. We don’t know yet what in there was burning. No report of any injuries.
3 PM: One car is in the garage; firefighters have had to ventilate the roof too, and smoke is still coming out.
We don’t know yet how the fire started.
3:18 PM: The response at the scene is beginning to be downsized. Meantime, our crew is back and we’re adding/substituting photos above.
ADDED MONDAY AFTERNOON: We checked today with SFD spokesperson Corey Orvold regarding the cause. She says it was accidental, sparked by fireplace ashes “placed in the garage.”
Thanks to Jissy for the tip – the much-asked-about Westwood Village drive-up mailbox is back. Just last Friday, the USPS confirmed to WSB that it was done repairing the box that was damaged by fire in late August, and would bring it back “soon.” Its arrival is just one day after what was expected to be the busiest mailing day of the holiday season. The USPS had told us that the box couldn’t simply be replaced because it didn’t have a surplus mailbox of this type; this was the second time this year it needed repairs – first time was after a driver hit it in March.
(August 28th photo, courtesy Megan)
How long does it take to fix a fire-damaged mailbox?
More than three months, in the case of the Westwood Village Post Office’s drive-up mailbox, gone since a fire in late August. (Repairs took only a few days when the same box was hit by a driver back in March.)
When we followed up on its continued absence in September, US Postal Service regional spokesperson Ernie Swanson told WSB that no spare boxes of this type were available, so this one had to be fixed.
As prime holiday-mailing season approached, we started asking again about its whereabouts. Today, finally an answer. Swanson says, “Repairs to the damaged mail collection box have been completed and it should be re-installed at the PO soon.”
How soon? Too … soon … to say. Let us know if you see it before we do (206-293-6302, text or voice hotline, day or night, and yes, in this case, the mailbox’s return would qualify as breaking news).
Pier 1 Imports confirms to WSB that it’s closing its Westwood Village store, its last one within Seattle city limits. We inquired after two reader tips, including one pointing out a listing seeking a new tenant for the Westwood space. Here’s what company spokesperson Melissa Simon told us:
Pier 1 Imports will close our West Seattle location in late February 2016. Pier 1 Imports continually reviews new and existing store locations to make sure we’re operating as efficiently as possible. Where necessary, based on that review, we make the strategic business decision to close certain locations on a case-by-case basis. We care about our shoppers in Seattle and have enjoyed serving them over the years. We look forward serving them at our other area locations in East Bellevue and Tukwila on Southcenter Parkway.
The Texas-based company had said earlier this year that it would close about 100 stores, leaving it with around 1,000, but did not release a closure list at the time.
(WSB photo: Barton St. P-Patch)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
The city’s P-Patch community garden program is maxed out for now and not expecting to grow in the near future – but not all P-Patches have waiting lists, contrary to popular belief.
That’s just some of what the Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council learned Tuesday night from visiting city Department of Neighborhoods reps – including director Kathy Nyland – who came to answer questions and provide updates about some of the department’s programs.
First, as is often the case with neighborhood meetings, an update from police:
As the long holiday weekend ebbs, the everyday world gets ready to rev. So, we’re looking ahead: On Tuesday night (December 1st), the Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council has assembled a lineup of guests that’ll be of interest regardless of whether you live/work in those neighborhoods or not. The meeting starts at 6:15 pm, and after some regular WWRHAH committee updates, here’s the main event, as announced by co-chair Amanda Kay Helmick:
6:35-7:45: Department of Neighborhoods (DoN): At our September brainstorm meeting, several residents requested information about P-Patches, grants, and painted crosswalks. We will have a whole team of DoN folks to answer your questions!
Tim Wolfe: Community Investments Division Director
Juan Martinez: Neighborhood Matching Fund Project Manager
Rich Macdonald: P-Patch Garden Program Supervisor OR
Bunly Yun: P-Patch Garden Program Coordinator
Kathy Nyland: Director
Howard Wu: Seattle Department of Transportation
Kerry Wade: Neighborhood District Coordinator
WWRHAH meets upstairs at Southwest Library (35th SW & SW Henderson).