West Seattle (& beyond) Saturday: WS Outdoor Movies get ‘Spice’y; Torchlight night; WSHS Alumni basketball game; more…

July 26, 2014 at 6:34 am | In West Seattle news, WS miscellaneous | No Comments

(Mid-July low-tide photo by Trileigh Tucker)
Last weekend, it was wall-to-wall events around West Seattle. This weekend, not so much, but Seafair’s big Torchlight Night has West Seattle ramifications too. So we’ll start there:

TORCHLIGHT TRAFFIC ALERT – VIADUCT CLOSURE TONIGHT: We’ve been reminding you for a week; now it’s here – the northbound Alaskan Way Viaduct closes 5:30-7:45 pm (times approximate, and we know the SDOT readerboards say until 8 pm) for the Torchlight Run. If you’re going downtown, remember 4th Avenue closes tonight for the parade itself – all the traffic effects are detailed in this citywide roundup.

TORCHLIGHT FANFEST: Starting at noon, you can go to Seattle Center and get an early look at the floats (participants include the award-winning West Seattle Hi-Yu Festival float, of course) starting at noon – details here.

TORCHLIGHT PARADE: Starts near Seattle Center at 7:30 pm and heads south on 4th Avenue (till almost the end) – the lineup and map are here. Scheduled West Seattle participants include the aforementioned Hi-Yu float (toward the end of the order) and County Executive Dow Constantine. (Are you in the parade too? Please let us know so we can watch for you – editor@westseattleblog.com)

Now, as for what’s happening in West Seattle today/tonight:

BENEFIT CAR WASH: West Seattle High School‘s 2014-2015 Cheer Squad is washing cars again today at West Seattle Autoworks (WSB sponsor) 10 am-3 pm to help pay for uniforms and camp. (35th/Webster)

LOW TIDE WITH BEACH NATURALISTS: Though the tide is not THAT low today, it’s still low enough for exploration – -0.8 at 11:19 – and you’ll find volunteer beach naturalists at Constellation Park and Lincoln Park beaches 10:30 am-1 pm.

CATS ARE LOOKING FOR YOU … at the Friends of the Animals Foundation cat/kitten adoption event, 11:30 am-3:30 pm at Next to Nature in The Junction. (4543 California SW)

WSHS ALUMNI BASKETBALL GAME: The first-ever West Seattle High School alumni basketball game and showcase starts at noon and runs through 5 pm – details in our Friday preview. (3000 California SW)

ALKI POINT LIGHTHOUSE TOURS: Just a few more chances this summer to tour Alki Point Lighthouse – no tours next weekend because of Seafair, so it’s this weekend 1-4 pm both days, and then a scant few weekends in August. (Alki SW/Beach Dr. SW)

SALSA ON ALKI: 5:30 pm lesson, 6:30 pm dance, by Statue of Liberty Plaza; details in the calendar listing. (61st/Alki SW)

WEST SEATTLE OUTDOOR MOVIES, WEEK 2: Spice up your Saturday night with “Spice World” – yes, the Spice Girls‘ mid-’90s movie is feature #2 in this year’s West Seattle Outdoor Movies series! Gates open at 6:30 pm at the Hotwire Online Coffeehouse (WSB sponsor) courtyard; preshow fun long before the movie splashes onto the screen at dusk (still 9-ish). Free, but bring a few $ for charity-benefiting raffle and concession if you can. WSB is media sponsor for the series and we’ll see you there! (4410 California SW)

SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARK: Tonight, Greenstage presents “Love’s Labour’s Lost” in Lincoln Park, 7 pm. Free! (8011 Fauntleroy Way SW, look for the signs)

MORE! Just check the calendar directly.

Watch and/or play: first-ever WSHS Alumni Basketball Game/Showcase on Saturday

July 25, 2014 at 10:16 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | No Comments

Big afternoon of basketball at West Seattle High School on Saturday – and players are welcome as well as spectators. All the info’s on the flyer above, shared by head coach Keffrey Fazio; basics are that the doors open at noon, shoot-around starts at 12:30 pm, 3-pointer-shooting contest at 1 pm, alumni game’s at 2 pm, food/social event at 3:45 pm. $20 fee for players, with proceeds benefiting the WSHS boys-basketball program.

Video/photos: Band Jam 2014 fills Southwest Athletic Complex with music, marching, more

July 25, 2014 at 6:52 pm | In West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | No Comments

(UPDATED overnight with more photos, video added inline)

6:52 PM: We’re at Southwest Athletic Complex in Westwood, where the Junior All-City Marching Band – seen in our quick video clip above – has just opened this year’s Band Jam, an event that’s continued to grow in the past few years as a tune-up event (and showcase) for some of the marching bands participating in the Seafair Torchlight Parade, which is happening tomorrow night.

Following the Junior All-City Band, the Pacific Northwest Drumline (above & below) has just taken the field.

This is going on for at least another hour and a half, and it’s free (with concessions available, to support music programs) – we’ll have more sounds and sights later, but for now, c’mon down.

7:14 PM: The Sumner High School Marching Band – explained by their announcer as including middle-school musicians too – is on the field now:

These musicians came almost all the way from Mount Rainier, which you can see in a peek view here in the SWAC stands.

P.S. Non-conventional “marching” bands play Band Jam too; the Ten-Man Brass Band followed Sumner (bound for the Capitol Hill Block Party later tonight):

And Chaotic Noise Marching Corps – a punk-ish hit last year – is still to come, as is the host All-City Band, directed by Marcus Pimpleton, who launched Band Jam here five years ago:

(added post-show) Chaotic Noise was wild as ever:

(See video on Facebook.) We noticed some membership overlap between CNMB and Sounders FC’s Sound Wave, which rocked the stadium too:

8:41 PM: And last up, ACB:

(added) Followed by the night-ending jam, with just about everyone joining ACB on the field:

Meantime, it’s less than 24 hours until the Torchlight Parade downtown tomorrow night – we’ll have info in our Saturday morning preview (including the Torchlight Fan Fest starting at noon, where you can go check out floats long before the parade begins).

17 questions from Councilmember Rasmussen for new SDOT boss Scott Kubly; anything missing?

July 25, 2014 at 3:11 pm | In Transportation, West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 6 Comments

A short time ago, Scott Kubly, Mayor Murray’s choice for SDOT director, tweeted that he’s arrived:

Next month, he faces confirmation hearings before the City Council. The chair of its Transportation Committee, West Seattle-residing Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, shared with us the questions he wants Kubly to answer. See them here. You’ll note that they include a request for Kubly to review the June 10th five-hour, four-mile Highway 99 crash-investigation-related closure (here’s our most-recent followup) and whether policies should be changed as a result. But that’s just one of 17 questions Rasmussen has asked Kubly to answer by August 5th, in advance of his August 12th hearing. Anything you think he’s missing?

West Seattle development: Three more teardown plans

July 25, 2014 at 3:00 pm | In Development, West Seattle news | No Comments

No new big development proposals have popped up lately. No new Design Review Board meetings on the schedule. But some smaller projects are of note, including these three which if nothing else will be noticeable with demolition activity on arterials:

3923 CALIFORNIA SW: The first demolition-permit application for the multiplexes on the northwest corner of California/Andover (map) is in. The city’s online files say a four-unit rowhouse is proposed (with the address 3925 California) for this side of the site, while the SW Andover side of the site is proposed for three single-family houses and a two-townhouse unit. (We first reported on this site two months ago, when a lot-boundary adjustment was sought.)

4151 CALIFORNIA SW: The same developer (Block II LLC) has been granted a demolition permit for two houses behind the California-fronting Pica Border Grill restaurant (map) on the north end of The Junction. The restaurant building is NOT involved in the project; the two houses behind it are slated to be replaced by a building with one townhouse and one live-work unit.

3036/3038 ALKI SW: Two “residential structures” here (map) are the subject of another demolition-permit application. As noted here last month, a proposal is on file for four townhouses and one single-family home, with a subdivision application to make it possible.

How local teens spent part of their summer: Rebuilding a custom vintage motorcycle with MISSIONmoto, SW Youth & Family Services

July 25, 2014 at 1:45 pm | In Delridge, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 6 Comments

Program names go by … say, the Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative … but we don’t often see/hear the results of activities related to those programs. Here, for a change, is a result. In the photo is Terry, one of the participants in a SYVPI project that led to the teardown and rebuild of that custom vintage motorcycle over the course of a 10-week after-school (etc.) project. He did it with MISSIONmoto, a nonprofit “motorcycle ministry” with garage space near Morgan Junction, which invited youth from the SYVPI program at North Delridge-based Southwest Youth and Family Services to “do a complete teardown and rebuild of a custom vintage motorcycle” – a 1973 Honda CB750K, to be precise. It was a pilot partnership, MISSIONmoto explains; we photographed Terry and the motorcycle at a celebratory barbecue held Thursday afternoon at SWYFS.

Nine ‘new acres’ of greenbelt restoration in West Seattle

July 25, 2014 at 12:38 pm | In Environment, West Seattle news | 4 Comments

More work to protect West Seattle forest land: Seattle Parks plant ecologist Michael Yadrick sent word of a new round of greenbelt restoration happening now – nine acres in the West Duwamish Greenbelt, the city’s largest contiguous forest, some of which is shown in our photo above, looking at the greenbelt behind the Parks facility on West Marginal Way SW.

These are what we call “new acres,” an area that hasn’t been touched for restoration before. This zone is very visible from the West Seattle Bridge. If you ever cruise westbound and look south at the hillside above the river, we are getting into the steep slopes above W Marginal Way. This Andover tract has some of the forests most heavily impacted by invasion of non-native plants, over 80% cover of ivy on the ground (and it was thigh-high when we first went in to survey for the work) and every single tree had ivy climbing up the trunk. The crew removed ivy from over 800 trees! A month or so after the crew completed the “survival rings,” I could actually see the texture of the forest canopy change. Much of that green, pillowy look that you see from the bridge is from ivy foliage that was hanging in the trees, which ultimately contributes to their decline over time. By removing it, we allow more light on the forest floor, which creates conditions more amenable to a healthy, mixed conifer forest.

(As far as we could tell from below, the brown areas in our photo are dead invasives. Yadrick’s explanation continues after the jump, if you’re reading this from the home page:)
Click to read the rest of Nine ‘new acres’ of greenbelt restoration in West Seattle…

Name the new Water Taxis, round two: Vote on your favorites from 11 finalists – 6 for West Seattle, 5 for Vashon

July 25, 2014 at 11:03 am | In King County Water Taxi, West Seattle news | 12 Comments

(Rendering of new vessels – reflecting size/shape/configuration, not final color/paint/trim)
Four weeks after the King County Ferry District invited you to suggest names for the new Water Taxi vessels that are under construction, here comes Round 2 – your chance to choose between 11 finalists. Just out of the WSB inbox:

The process to name the King County Ferry District’s new vessels continues with public voting starting (today) and running through August 15, 2014. To vote, see surveymonkey.com/s/TTPBNZQ or call 206-477-3840.

“The public’s participation in this process has been incredible – we have received 326 different name nominations. People in this region really value this service,” said King County Ferry District Chair Joe McDermott.

Click to read the rest of Name the new Water Taxis, round two: Vote on your favorites from 11 finalists – 6 for West Seattle, 5 for Vashon…

West Seattle Friday: Band Jam, Delridge farmstand, Pencil Me In For Kids, Shakespeare in the Park, more …

July 25, 2014 at 10:57 am | In West Seattle news, WS miscellaneous | 1 Comment

From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar for today/tonight:

VOTE UNTIL 1 PM: The Major League Soccer Community MVP voting continues until 1 our time today, and West Seattle Cup organizer Terry Kegel remains in the running. Our previous story includes the link.

PENCIL ME IN FOR KIDS DONATION DRIVE: PMIFK collects and buys school supplies to help kids in need, and even though it’s the middle of summer, donations are needed now to make sure everyone’s set for next school year. 3-6 pm today, you can donate supplies and/or cash to Rotary Club of West Seattle volunteers who will be at QFC in The Junction; details in our calendar listing. (42nd/Alaska)

FRIDAY FARMSTAND: Delridge Grocery‘s second weekly farmstand is set for 4:30-7:30 pm today (here’s our coverage of last week’s launch). Here’s what DG’s update says will be available:

Strawberries
Peaches
Nectarines
Raspberries
Blueberries
Cherries
Apricots
Beets
Kale
Collards
Salad mix
Cabbage
Spring onions
Chard
Zucchini

The stand is right next to the sidewalk at 5435 Delridge Way SW.

BAND JAM: As previewed here earlier this week, more than half a dozen marching bands participating in tomorrow night’s Seafair Torchlight Parade will be tuning up with the free-and-open-to-the-public Band Jam tonight at Southwest Athletic Complex, 6:30 pm. (2801 SW Thistle)

SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARK: Tonight, Greenstage presents “Othello” at Lincoln Park – free! 7 pm. (8011 Fauntleroy Way SW)

LIVE MUSIC: Salty’s, C & P Coffee, The Cask, Feedback Lounge (WSB sponsors), Skylark Café and Club, Benbow Room all have listings for tonight – see them by going directly to our calendar.

West Seattle power outage: Crow vs. transformer again

July 25, 2014 at 10:11 am | In Utilities, West Seattle news | 9 Comments

City Light says 10 homes are still out of power northeast of The Junction as part of an earlier outage that at one point was reported to be up to 90. According to a photo texted to us, this was another case of crow vs. transformer, with the bird making deadly contact at 38th/Dakota. The current estimate for repair completion is around 12:30 pm.

Another traffic heads-up: Underground work ahead on Spokane @ Beach Dr.

July 25, 2014 at 9:54 am | In Utilities, West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 2 Comments

Though King County says the timeline’s not set yet, it’s circulating an alert about work that will dig up a section of road south of Alki Point soon. The alert begins:

Beginning later this month, a contractor working for King County will be making repairs to the County’s Alki Regulator Gate. This below-ground structure is located in Southwest Spokane St., near the corner of Beach Dr. Southwest. (see attached map). This facility is part of the County’s regional wastewater system; it helps to regulate wastewater flows going to the County’s West Seattle tunnel and pump station. These repairs are important to help avoid wastewater overflows into Puget Sound during times of high wastewater flows in the system.

See the full alert here (PDF, including a map). It says the work will last up to two weeks, with traffic-flagging for the duration, and that other projects are ahead, including improvements to the pump station in the area and installation of a “flow meter” near Spokane/62nd.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Friday updates; looking ahead

July 25, 2014 at 7:26 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 1 Comment

(WS bridge and Highway 99 views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
Sunshine’s back, in time for a busy summer weekend. First – today’s commute. OK so far. (The I-90 westbound lane closures ended early today, by the way.) So here are the looking-ahead notes:

SATURDAY NIGHT VIADUCT CLOSURE: Tomorrow night, the northbound Alaskan Way Viaduct closes 5:30-7:45 pm for the Seafair Torchlight Run – this SDOT roundup has details on that and other citywide weekend traffic alerts.

MONDAY NIGHT NOTE: The West Seattle Water Taxi will run late Monday night (July 28) for the Sounders match.

BLUE ANGELS-RELATED I-90 CLOSURES NEXT WEEK: Looking way ahead to Thursday 7/31 through Sunday 8/3 – here’s the schedule for that.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Early-morning investigation; wheelchair-theft attempt; bicycle found

July 25, 2014 at 1:31 am | In Crime, West Seattle news | 5 Comments

Three West Seattle Crime Watch notes: First, this is developing – Seattle Police are investigating another possible strong-arm robbery in the Roxhill Park area. Seattle Fire medics were sent to check out someone found unconscious in the bushes by the bus stop on the south side of SW Barton, reported as a possible victim of a robbery/assault. We’ll follow up later this morning to see what police determined.

Meantime, Creighton reports two incidents in Admiral:

Both incidents happened in front of my house during the daytime at 37th Ave SW and Admiral, just north of Belvedere Viewpoint Park.

Wednesday morning after breakfast, between 9 am and 11 am, someone started to steal my visiting-from-out-of-town handicapped father’s wheelchair from the side of my house, where it was placed to stay dry and out of the hard rain. Upon searching the neighborhood, we found it one house south of ours, stashed in the bushes. It looked like they started to steal it, but either decided it was too big to toss in their vehicle, or I’m hoping had a change of heart and realized it was bad karma to steal a handicapped man’s wheelchair.

Did they come back and try again later that day? Later that same day, after dinner (between 6 pm and 8 pm) I went out to clean my wife’s late-model MDX and discovered all of the contents of the glovebox (registration, manual, etc), center console and change dish were missing. We’re pretty sure we locked the doors, but there was no sign of forced entry to the car so we’re scratching our heads. Both incidents have been reported to the Seattle PD using the CORP online reporting tool.

Finally, Brian found this bike in Highland Park:

Brian describes it as a “Univega bike with Anacortes Cycle sticker.” If it’s yours, contact police and refer to case 14-242562.

Skies Over West Seattle, midsummer edition: Meteors on the way

July 24, 2014 at 7:33 pm | In Skies Over West Seattle, West Seattle news | 8 Comments

EDITOR’S NOTE: Ever wish for advance alert of an upcoming meteor shower/eclipse/etc. – and/or wonder “What’s that bright ‘star’ up there?” This should help. It’s our periodic feature by West Seattle’s own Solar System Ambassador Alice Enevoldsen, famed for her solstice/equinox sunset watches, among other things.

By Alice Enevoldsen
Special to West Seattle Blog

Happy summer, everyone! I, like many, did not enjoy our recent heat wave. I’m Seattleite to my bones, and temperatures outside 50-80°F send me searching desperately for relief. Lucky us, hot days make for comfortable stargazing nights. You’ll often hear me advocate for the winter skies, because they’re so pristine (whenever we can see the stars through the clouds), and the long nights give you lots of things to see. The benefit to summer skies is that you don’t have to bundle up, and you’re probably thrilled to spend an hour or two with an excuse to just relax in the cool night air, and we do (believe it or not) have more clear nights in summer.

Hey, what’s that?

Mars and Spica — This pair, a star and a planet, have been giving us quite a show every night in the West as soon as it begins to get dark, around 10 pm. If you’ve seen something in the sky and wondered what it was, I’m betting it is these two. Spica is a brilliant white, and Mars has a blush of a tan or salmon color to it.

You may be inexperienced at noticing the different colors of the stars, so this is a perfect chance to push yourself a little further. Go out tonight – if we get a break in the clouds – and look at this pairing. First, just try to decide if they appear to be the same color or different colors. Then, keep observing and start thinking about what you would name those two different colors. Try looking away at some other stars and then bringing your eyes back.

Another major difference to watch for in the pair is that Spica will twinkle, and Mars will not. Planets don’t twinkle (an easy way to remember this is that the song doesn’t go “Twinkle, twinkle little planet …”).

Click to read the rest of Skies Over West Seattle, midsummer edition: Meteors on the way…

Summer Concerts at Hiawatha update: Tonight’s show is a go!

July 24, 2014 at 6:25 pm | In West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | 2 Comments

The clouds have lifted and Eclectic Approach is playing outdoors as scheduled on the east lawn at Hiawatha in this year’s first concert of the Admiral Neighborhood Association-sponsored series, reports ANA president David Whiting. Metropolitan Market (a series sponsor, as are we, and a WSB sponsor) is there with brownies, he adds. Official start at 6:30, music at least until 8, have fun!

After 2+ years, new monorail initiative reported to be ballot-bound

July 24, 2014 at 5:20 pm | In Transportation, West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 36 Comments

In spring 2012, we reported on activist Elizabeth Campbell‘s proposal for a new monorail company, to be called the Century Transportation Authority, CenTran for short, with a line running from Ballard to West Seattle, like the last monorail proposal. Haven’t heard much about it in the interim, but today, PubliCola reports that Campbell has gathered enough valid signatures – just under 4,600 – to get this on the Seattle ballot in November. If voters say yes, CenTran’s website says, it would start out with a $5 license-tab tax to raise money to plan the monorail system.

Followup: Fauntleroy Schoolhouse’s lesson in crowdlending

July 24, 2014 at 4:38 pm | In Fauntleroy, How to help, West Seattle news | No Comments

Last night at The Hall at Fauntleroy inside the Fauntleroy Schoolhouse, potential investors gathered to find out more about the crowdlending push intended to bring in the final half-million dollars needed for fixing up the nonprofit-owned building. As mentioned in our preview, the Fauntleroy Community Service Agency is working with Bellevue-based social-investment facilitator Semble. FCSA’s Kevin Wooley explained that the project’s only been up on the Semble website a week, and they’re already more than halfway to their goal.

Wooley told the ~30 people in attendance that most of the money would go toward the ongoing roof-renovation project, and they hope to raise it within a month in order to get the roof work finished before the rainy season. A few other jobs are included, all work that FCSA promised would be done after its purchase of the former Seattle Public Schools property four years ago. Semble reps explained at the gathering that it’s an investment, not a donation, and interest will be paid – information on the project’s Semble webpage (see it here) includes the prospectus, FCSA financials over the past three years, and the interest rate, all of which you can take into account before deciding whether to become a lender.

Delridge Day updates: ‘The Lego Movie’ outdoor screening the night before; festival music schedule out

July 24, 2014 at 4:13 pm | In Delridge, West Seattle festivals, West Seattle news | No Comments

That flyer is just in, courtesy of Pete Spalding, one of the organizers of next month’s Delridge Day festival. It’s a new addition to the celebration – an outdoor movie in the Delridge Community Center park the night before Delridge Day. That means at 9 pm Friday night, August 8th, you’re invited to the free screening of “The Lego Movie.” Then on Saturday, August 8th, 11 am-3 pm, the Delridge Day festival takes over the park; the music lineup is already out:

11:00 Bill Wolford – world music, alt folk
12:00 Ellis Brothers – jazz
1:00 The Slags – rock and reggae
2:00 Roo and the Few – Americana

The park is at Delridge/Genesee, south and west of Delridge Skatepark. More festival details to come.

Another Terminal 5 note: 80-foot radio tower (re-)planned

July 24, 2014 at 2:42 pm | In West Seattle news | 8 Comments

As reported here yesterday, the Port of Seattle‘s Terminal 5 in West Seattle is going mostly idle, with a modernization project being planned. But our regular daily search of city permit applications turned up a project proposed for part of the site, potentially of interest to northeast-facing West Seattle: Burlington-Northern-Santa Fe is reopening the permit process for a proposed 80-foot-high radio-transmitting tower between two of its tracks at Terminal 5, close to the corner of Harbor and Spokane. A construction permit for the “tripod-style” low-power tower was originally issued in 2006 (the map above is from a related notice), but it wasn’t built; when a permit extension was sought in 2009, the document included a notation that the railroad company and port were having “property and indemnity discussions.” That extension was granted but expired in 2011; the railroad has just applied for a new construction permit – here’s the city-website page.

The original site plan notes, “Antennas mounted to this freestanding antenna tower will be mounted with as little projection from the tower structure as is feasible. External conduits, climbing structures, fittings, and other projections from the external face of the support structure will be minimized to the extent possible.”

Decommissioned USS Constellation to pass West Seattle next week

July 24, 2014 at 1:24 pm | In Seen at sea, West Seattle news | 5 Comments

(US Navy photo: USS Constellation in Elliott Bay during Seafair, 1996)
Advance notice for everyone who is interested in what passes our shores: The decommissioned aircraft carrier USS Constellation is scheduled to be towed from Bremerton one week from today (Thursday, July 31st), which means you’ll be able to see it – at a distance – from Alki Point southward. Its eventual destination will be Brownsville, Texas, where it will be broken up. It’s been mothballed in Bremerton for almost a decade, after being decommissioned in 2003 and then towed here from San Diego, following 42 years in service. A time for its departure hasn’t been announced yet, but we’ll be watching in the days ahead.

SIDE NOTE: One day before the Constellation’s move, active Navy ships participating in the Seafair Fleet will be visible from even more of the West Seattle shore. Here’s our recent preview of the July 30th Parade of Ships.

West Seattle food/drink notes: Treehouse Lounge; Blackboard Bistro; Spoke & Food; new Alki tour…

July 24, 2014 at 11:18 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle restaurants, WS beverages | 1 Comment

Four food/drink notes today, starting with two venues getting new looks:

(In-progress photo courtesy Mind Unwind/Treehouse Lounge – see the ‘after’ view tonight)
GROUND-FLOOR ‘TREEHOUSE’: Krystal Kelley from Mind Unwind at 2206 California SW in The Admiral District says its Treehouse Lounge is reopening at 4 pm today after a big change – more like an exchange: The lounge will now be on the ground floor, while Mind Unwind‘s adult art classes (etc.) will be on the second floor. The work’s been under way for about two weeks. “Many people have been walking by worrying that the art gallery is going away, it isn’t…in fact, it is becoming even more robust.” It’ll reopen with 4-10 pm hours Tuesdays-Saturdays, serving “specialty sake cocktails, wine, and beer,” plus, Kelley adds, “Food service will be coming in September. We are 21 and over until we introduce food, then we will be family friendly.”

BLACKBOARD BISTRO: South of Admiral, Blackboard Bistro is scheduled to reopen tomorrow after 4+ days of renovation work (extra Wednesday-Thursday closures following BB’s usual Monday-Tuesday days off). The restaurant is in its fifth year at 3247 California.

DINE OUT TUESDAY FOR SPOKE & FOOD: The annual dining-out fundraiser encouraging people to ride their bikes to dinner is next Tuesday (July 29th), 5-10 pm, and two local venues are on the list this year – Marination ma kai (WSB sponsor) at Seacrest, and Proletariat Pizza in White Center. The Outdoors For All Foundation gets 20 percent of the proceeds on Spoke & Food night; here’s the official citywide flyer.

SPEAKING OF BIKING AND DINING … A new tour launched on Alki this month combines both. Taste Seattle Food Tours, owned by West Seattleites Felicia Watson and Roen Ako, is now offering bicycle tours at 11 am Fridays and Saturdays with stops at five beach-area eateries, starting at Marination and ending at another WSB sponsor, Salty’s. They invite locals and tourists alike to try it out; you’ll find more information on their company’s website.

West Seattle Thursday: Summer Concerts at Hiawatha begin! Plus…

July 24, 2014 at 9:31 am | In West Seattle news, WS miscellaneous | No Comments

Thanks to Myrtle for sharing the Wednesday afternoon double-rainbow view! Perfect promise of more summery weather returning – in time for tonight’s Summer Concerts at Hiawatha show, and more:

SAVE LIVES: Be a blood donor – today, with the Bloodmobile at the Clock Tower Plaza on the South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) campus, 10:30 am-4:30 pm, with a 12:30 pm-1:30 pm break. More in our calendar listing. (6000 16th SW)

MISSIONmoto CELEBRATION: Afterschool program celebrating its success with youth rebuilding a classic motorcycle, 3 pm at Southwest Youth and Family Services – details in our calendar listing. (Delridge/Alaska)

‘SUMMER CONCERTS AT HIAWATHA’ KICKOFF: Summery weather is scheduled to return just in time. 6:30 tonight on the east lawn at Hiawatha Community Center, it’s the first of this year’s six Summer Concerts at Hiawatha, presented by the Admiral Neighborhood Association, with sponsors including WSB. Free and fun – bring dinner, family, friends, chair/blanket, and enjoy the music of Eclectic Approach. P.S. Little ones? Note that Caspar Babypants is up next week, on 7/31. (2700 California SW, but on the Walnut side)

INTERESTED IN SOLAR POWER? Solarize Southwest has a workshop in West Seattle at 6:30 tonight, Dakota Place Park. (California/Dakota)

LOVE’S LABOUR’S LOST: 7 pm, Greenstage presents Shakespeare’s comedy at Lincoln Park – details in our calendar listing. (8011 Fauntleroy Way SW)

EVEN MORE … for today/tonight, if you check our calendar!

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Thursday updates & reminders

July 24, 2014 at 6:25 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 1 Comment

(WS bridge and Highway 99 views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
Summery weather is returning, the forecasters say; we’ll see how it goes on the roads, trails, and waterways as the morning unfolds. A few notes:

SATURDAY NIGHT VIADUCT CLOSURE: If you’ll be out Saturday night, remember that the northbound Alaskan Way Viaduct will be closed 5:30-7:45 pm for the Seafair Torchlight Run – check out this SDOT roundup for details on that and other weekend traffic alerts around the city.

SOUND TRANSIT SURVEY: Four more days to answer the newest survey in Sound Transit‘s Long-Range Plan Update, and let ST your thoughts on light rail for West Seattle. Here’s the survey link; here’s our coverage of last week’s ST presentation at the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce‘s monthly lunch.

5:45 PM: Crash reported on northbound 99 at Seneca, if you are heading toward downtown. That said, we are on northbound I-5 right now almost to downtown and it’s fairly sluggish.

Admiral Theater’s future: ‘Ticking clock’ forcing decision soon

July 23, 2014 at 10:57 pm | In Admiral Theater, West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | 55 Comments

(June WSB photo: Film-projection room at The Admiral)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

More than a year ago, we told you about the Admiral Theater‘s hopes of renovations to ensure the historic moviehouse’s future.

It hasn’t happened yet. And its management/ownership is acutely aware of a “ticking clock” sped up by the fact that – as they pointed out when we talked to them for the aforementioned story last year – film is going away as a method of delivering movies.

In a conversation with theater manager Dinah Brein, she explained they’ve already felt the effects. “Certain films weren’t even made in (film) like ‘The Wolf of Wall Street,’ ‘Dallas Buyers Club,’ so we have to wait for it to go to DVD (before we can) show it.” For some movies, that timetable is relatively fast – for some, it’s not. And only one of the Admiral’s theaters is DVD-capable.

The Admiral simply must convert to digital. (It’s not alone, as continuing national coverage has documented.)

And for that, they have to have a commitment from the building’s owner Marc Gartin that they’ll be there for the long haul.

Click to read the rest of Admiral Theater’s future: ‘Ticking clock’ forcing decision soon…

Seal Sitters signing up volunteers one last time for this year’s pupping season

July 23, 2014 at 9:34 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news, Wildlife | No Comments

(2013 photo by Robin Lindsey)
If you’ve ever considered volunteering with Seal Sitters, there’s one more chance this season:

Seal Sitters Marine Mammal Stranding Network’s final training for the 2014 seal pupping season will take place on August 9th. There will be no further trainings until late fall due to time constraints on volunteers.

Last year’s record-breaking pupping season stats in West Seattle (from late July’s first response to a newborn seal pup to the end of the year’s weaned pups) included 163 responses to marine mammals, including 66 positively identified seal pups. This 2014 season has begun unusually early in West Seattle with responses in June to one full lanugo seal pup “Luigi,” a second premature pup, and full-term “Junebug” who is now in rehab at PAWS Wildlife Center.

TRAINING DATE:
Saturday morning, August 9, 2014
10 am – 12 pm (doors open at 9:30 am; plan to arrive early to register and receive paperwork – training begins promptly at 10)
Alki UCC Church 6115 SW Hinds, Seattle
Please RSVP on blubberblog for the training to assure seating.

*Note to parents: All children accompanying adults must be able to sit quietly through an almost-two-hour presentation (with break).

Unlike most marine mammal stranding networks, we encourage children to participate in Seal Sitters – supervised at all times, of course, by a parent or guardian. We are so proud of our amazing and dedicated volunteers who are on duty rain or shine – we hope you will join us!

A multi-media presentation will illustrate our educational work in the community and the unique challenges of protecting seals and other marine mammals in an urban environment. Included in the training is an overview of NOAA’s West Coast Marine Mammal Stranding Network and biology and behavior of seals and other pinnipeds (due to time frame, supplementary off-season sessions will include more marine mammals of Puget Sound). For additional questions and info or to be placed on a contact list for future training opportunities, please e-mail us.

Contact info is here.

Terminal 5′s last cargo-ship call for now, after half a century

July 23, 2014 at 4:32 pm | In Seen at sea, West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | 17 Comments

Moored on this murky day at the Port of Seattle‘s Terminal 5 in West Seattle, the Westwood Olympia is the last ship scheduled for a T-5 call TFN. After 50 years as a cargo terminal, T-5 will be idle once this ship departs. We reported last month on the port’s plan to close T-5 while spending $5 million planning a modernization project, so that it can handle new mega-sized ships – but there’s no plan yet for where the port will get the up to one-quarter-billion dollars the project will cost. Port spokesperson Peter McGraw tells WSB that “during the multi-year design and permitting phase of Terminal 5 Modernization, we will be working to attract interim maritime uses to this industrial facility.” Meantime, while other shipping lines that used it are moving to other Seattle terminals, Westwood ships are going back to Tacoma after 31 years, with its first call there scheduled for one week from today.

ADDED FRIDAY: For the record, here’s a Port memo about some of the terms related to the T-5 shutdown, as Eagle Marine Service moves on to sublease space on Harbor Island.

Summer will return! ‘Spice World’ at West Seattle Outdoor Movies this Saturday

July 23, 2014 at 3:51 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle Outdoor Movies | 10 Comments

Last Saturday, this year’s West Seattle Outdoor Movies series opened with drizzle/mist as the audience watched Sandra Bullock in space (above, a preshow photo as the crowd started to gather). Today, a midsummer deluge. But THIS Saturday – clear skies and warm temperatures are promised. So plan to set up your chair/blanket in the Hotwire Online Coffeehouse (4410 California SW; WSB sponsor) courtyard for “Spice World”:

Movie’s free – as are a fashion show and photo booth! Bring money for concessions and raffles to benefit local nonprofits (and Hotwire is open pre-show, with espresso beverages, smoothies, and more). Gates open at 6:30, movie at dusk (9-ish).

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