West Seattle, Washington
2:51 PM Several people have asked us about police and fire at 34th SW/SW Thistle this past hour – it was logged as a low-level car-crash response (“Motor Vehicle Incident”) but the photo above, sent in via text (thank you!), shows one casualty … a street sign. At least the second time in less than a week that a car’s taken out a sign (following last week’s Alki crash). No medic unit sent to this one, which indicates no major injuries, but we’re doublechecking with SFD to be sure.
3:25 PM: SFD confirms it was a 2-car crash with no injuries.
The next Southwest Design Review Board meeting has just been set for the mixed-use project at 9030 35th SW, recently revived after eight years on hold. It’s currently proposed for five stories “containing 40 apartment units and 3,200 square feet of commercial,” with 32 off-street parking spaces. You can see the report on its previous review last May by going here. The next meeting is set for 6:30 pm Thursday, November 3rd, at the Sisson Building/Senior Center in The Junction (SW Oregon/California SW) and will include a public-comment period; the revised design proposal isn’t yet available, but you can watch for it here.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Two months after the Westwood-Roxhill Find It, Fix It Walk with Mayor Murray and a platoon of city employees, has anything been “fixed”? That was the biggest item – and the final one – on the agenda for this month’s Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council meeting.
FIND IT, FIX IT FOLLOWUP: Lemmis Stephens and Laura Jenkins, working with the city via AmeriCorps, came to WWRHAH for the followup. Here’s the report they brought:
Jenkins pointed out that pages 7-9 show which projects were awarded grants – one of the neighbor groups, at 22nd and Henderson, will have one more work party this Saturday, and, as reported here a week and a half ago, have been paid a visit by overgrowth-munching goats: Read More
Photos by Leda Costa for West Seattle Blog
It’s that magic month of the year when you’ll find paintings, sculptures, pottery, and other visual art among the bookshelves and other standard fixtures at Southwest Library. The 25th annual community art showcase continues at the branch is on all month, launched with a Sunday reception organized by Friends of the Southwest Library:
They told us this year’s response to the call for art was great – 103 pieces by 46 artists. You can see the artwork all month during regular library hours – 10 am to 8 pm Mondays through Thursdays, 10 am-6 pm Fridays and Saturdays, 1 pm-5 pm Sundays. Some of the artists who were at the reception:
Above, Vera C Stirling has several pieces in the show. She says an art class at the Senior Center two years ago sparked her interest in drawing and creating art. Below, it’s the second year of participation for Tycho Bear, who is displaying two of his creations:
Betty M. Laughlin (below) grew up coming to the Southwest Library:
She says her mom would bring her and they would leave with stacks of books. Years later, here she is displaying her photography and her wearable art – a felted necklace and bracelets.
Another artist there for Sunday’s reception: Ernie Flowers (below), a local film photographer, named his photograph of the swan after Edward Weston‘s iconic 1927 image Nautilus.
This is his first year participating in the show.
Gordon Miller was also at the reception:
In our photo, he’s standing under his resin piece “Rooftop.”
More of what you’ll see when you go check out the art at Southwest Library this month: Read More
Want to see change in your neighborhood? One easy way is to jump in with the people who are already working on it – but can’t do it alone – your all-volunteer community council. Next West Seattle group to meet is the Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council, 6:15 pm tomorrow (Monday, October 3rd), at Southwest Library (35th/Henderson). Agenda items include following up on July’s Find It, Fix It Walk (WSB coverage here) and information about the new Westside Neighbors Network. See the full agenda preview in our calendar listing – and if the issue that interests you isn’t featured, show up and speak up!
More than 50 goats from Rent-A-Ruminant have been busy clearing one of the Westwood-area trouble spots highlighted during the Find It, Fix It Community Walk two months ago – a tangle of stairway-side brush, the removal of which has revealed numerous cans, bottles, and other litter.
We got word of their work at 22nd SW/SW Henderson late today from Ami, who had spoken to the mayor and dozens of other walkers during the July 26th event, playing a video clip from a former neighbor who said crime and disorder in the area had forced her to move (it’s in our July 26th report).
Ami explained in her note today, “After the Find it Fix it walk, we applied for a grant to mulch the area adjacent to the 22nd Ave SW and Henderson stairs. SDOT assigned an arborist to the project who brought in goats and is donating mulch for our neighborhood work party on 10/1 from noon to 2 pm.” We went over for a look at the goats, whose “head wrangler,” RAR proprietor Tammy, told us they’ve been working since Thursday and will likely leave around midmorning Sunday. (Her herd also did work for SDOT along the Delridge/Holden stairway a year and a half ago.)
By Linda Ball
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
About 17 concerned citizens attended tonight’s Southwest Design Review Board meeting about the proposed apartment complex at 2222 SW Barton.
Architect Justin Kliewer, who is now with Cleave Architecture and Design, presented three different massing (size/shape) options for the complex, which will be situated on what Kliewer called a “tricky” triangular parcel of 15,500 square-feet, on a steep grade, currently home to a small apartment building. The area is a bit of a mix, with Westwood Village within a stone’s throw, and single-family houses to the east and south.
The idea of 70 to 80 units shoe-horned into the space was not warmly received by those present.
“I can hardly believe they can squeeze in 80 units, it’s absurd, massive, way too big for the site,” said a neighbor named Sebastian, who lives directly uphill from the site. He said it would be visible for eight to 10 blocks and become a “monolithic presence.”
(Map of outage area, from Seattle City Light website)
12:38 AM: Thanks for the texts: Seattle City Light‘s outage map says more than 3,500 homes/businesses have lost power, mostly in southeast West Seattle and White Center. No word yet on the cause.
12:53 AM: The map now has the “estimated restoration” time of 7 am, but we always add the reminder, that’s a guesstimate and it could be much sooner, or much later. SCL is still investigating the cause.
1:15 AM: Commenter SteveMG reports seeing SCL and emergency responders in the 8th/Roxbury vicinity.
1:18 AM: We’re getting some reports of power restored – mostly from South Delridge. No change in the outage-map total yet but sometimes it lags.
1:25 AM: Now the map’s caught up with the restoration reports – 294 customers (homes/businesses) still without power, in White Center. Here’s the updated map:
1:36 AM: Along with SteveMG, a commenter on our partner site White Center Now also mentions what seemed like an underground “explosion” at 8th/Roxbury. Here’s what SCL tweeted about the cause, without mentioning a specific location:
Crews have identified an equipment failure in an underground vault as the cause for the White Center-W. Seattle outage.
— Seattle City Light (@SEACityLight) August 31, 2016
6:27 AM: Power has since been fully restored.
(“Preferred option” configuration from design packet for 2222 SW Barton, by Playhouse Design Group)
The first Design Review date is set for the four-story, 70+-apartment proposal at 2222 SW Barton [map]. It’s been three months since we first reported on this plan for that triangle of land southeast of Westwood Village. According to the Southwest Design Review Board‘s schedule, the project’s Early Design Guidance review – when size/shape (“massing”) is the focus – is set for 6:30 pm Thursday, September 15th, at the Sisson Building/Senior Center in The Junction. The first draft of the design “packet” by Playhouse Design Group is downloadable from the city website; you can get it here (16 MB PDF). It says the project could vary from 70 to 80 units, 260 to 515 square feet, depending on the final approved design. No offstreet parking is included, and none is required because of the “frequent transit” (including RapidRide) available nearby. The site currently holds a fourplex built in 1959, according to county records.
The Wingstop in Westwood Village will open this week. We’ve just confirmed that it will start by “soft-opening” around noontime this Thursday (August 4th); the official grand opening is set for the weekend of August 27th and 28th. At some point during that weekend, we’re told, the franchise’s owner Richard Sherman will be on hand – yes, THAT Richard Sherman, as in Seahawks star, but the company’s not sure exactly when yet. Official hours will be 11 am-11 pm Sundays through Thursdays, 11 am-midnight on Fridays. Wingstop is in the space west of 24-Hour Fitness that was long home to Eats Market Café; it’s been 13 months since we first reported that Eats was closing and Wingstop was on the way.
Just in from the city – the plan, and map, for next Monday’s Find It, Fix It Community Walk in the Roxhill and Westwood areas – the second one in West Seattle, after the Delridge FIFI walk last October (WSB coverage here). The starting point is now finalized – Longfellow Creek P-Patch at 25th SW/SW Thistle, just east of Chief Sealth International High School; refreshments and sign-in are planned 6-6:30 pm, with the walk to follow this schedule:
6:30 p.m. – 6:45 p.m.
· Welcome remarks from Mayor Ed Murray
6:45 p.m. – 7:55 p.m.
· Walk commences along the following route (map):
o West on SW Thistle St
o South on 26th Ave SW
o South on 24th Ave SW
o South on 25th Ave SW
o West on SW Barton St
7:55 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
· Walk concludes at Roxhill Park
· Department representatives and City staff available for follow-up questions
Participants can use the Find It, Fix It mobile app on the walk. This smartphone app offers mobile users one more way to report selected issues to the City. Make sure to download the app before the walk.
In partnership with Cities of Service, the City will offer up to $5,000 in grants for community-led projects to each 2016 Find It, Fix It Walk neighborhood. The Roxhill/Westwood Community Project Grant Application is available in seven languages at www.seattle.gov/finditfixit until Wednesday, August 3. If you have an idea for a project in Roxhill/Westwood, please apply today!
We first reported three months ago that West Seattle’s second walk would be in the Roxhill area; Westwood was a recent addition to the plan. This is the only one planned for West Seattle this year.
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? email@example.com 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 – firstname.lastname@example.org – 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.