West Seattle

The Seattle City Council Planning, Land Use and Neighborhoods Committee is working on updating the city-wide design guidelines, adopted in 1993 and unchanged for 16 years, it was announced at the committee meeting Wednesday, Aug. 12.

They “still provide good base, but we’re also looking into sustainability and compatibility of the neighborhoods,” said Diane Sugimura, director of the Department of Planning and Development (DPD).

Sugimura explained that between the knowledge gained from design reviews over the years and the development of neighborhood specific designs, there is room for change and improvement in the city guidelines.

The new guidelines will be up for council review in 2010.

The city's Design Review Program provides a forum for citizens, developers and the city to review and guide the design of qualifying commercial and multifamily development projects. There are seven, five-member boards.

Board members are volunteer and serve two-year terms; terms may be renewed once. They are appointed by the mayor and city council.

08/13/2009
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Courtesy City of Seattle

The state is looking for volunteers in communities in Seattle and across the state to help count the number of people who walk or bike to their destinations.

The information being gathered this fall will be used to track progress toward the state’s goal of increasing bicycling and walking in Washington and reducing the number of vehicle miles driven, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation. 



The department of transportation and the Cascade Bicycle Club are enlisting volunteers and organizations like FeetFirst and the Bicycle Alliance of Washington to count the numbers of people bicycling and walking on paths, bike lanes, sidewalks and other facilities on Sept. 29 and 30 and Oct. 1.



“We had a great turnout of volunteers in 2008,” said Ian Macek, bicycle and pedestrian coordinator for the state. “This effort can not be done without their help, so we hope to see an increase in volunteer support this year.” 



08/12/2009
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Photo courtesy National Bicycle and Pedestrian Documentation Project

The state and Cascade Bicycle Club are looking for volunteers to help count the number of people who walk or bike to their destinations on Sept. 29 and 30 and Oct. 1.

The Alaskan Way Viaduct Program has posted two video simulations to show the proposed replacements for the Alaskan Way Viaduct.

The simulations show the current design concept for the proposed SR 99 bored tunnel and the new Alaskan Way surface street on the Seattle waterfront.

See the simulations here.

The first video shows the current design concept for the proposed SR 99 bored tunnel. The drive-through starts at the tunnel’s south portal, which is near the stadium district and the Port of Seattle’s terminals, and takes you to the exit in the north, onto Aurora Avenue North.

Along the way, there are ramps at either end of the tunnel that will allow drivers to access the downtown street grid from SR 99, as well as the new street connections that will be built over the tunnel’s portals.



The the second video shows what the waterfront would look like. The state plans to build a new Alaskan Way boulevard in the footprint of the current viaduct.

08/12/2009
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Image courtesy Washington State Department of Transportation

New simulations show what the waterfront and tunnel will look like to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct. CLICK IMAGE TO VIEW MORE.

An agreement has been announced for pollution testing at a site along the heavily contaminated Duwamish River.

The state Ecology Department announced the deal with Crowley Maritime Corp. on Tuesday, Aug. 11, which calls for soil, groundwater and sediment tests.

It is the first step toward long-term cleanup of the 16-acre site near the Georgetown neighborhood.

Beginning in the 1920s, the site was been used for manufacturing pipes, chains, lumber, treated poles, aluminum windows and other industrial parts.

Investigations since the late 1980s have shown traces of arsenic, copper, polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons and polychlorinated biphenyls.

The work is part of a state, federal and local effort to remove pollution along the lower Duwamish Waterway.

08/12/2009
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Photo courtesy Northwest Fisheries Science Center

The state Ecology Department has made a deal with Crowley Maritime Corp. to test soil, groundwater at sediment at the Duwamish River.

West Seattle residents David and Rebecca Makuen think they have created the world's greatest burger, but they aren't settling for a mere restaurant to house their creation. They've taken their meat national.

The Makuens are the founders of BuiltBurger, a Web-based company that creates and freezes gourmet burgers, ready to be shipped out to customers around the country.

David Makuen said the idea for BuiltBurger was formed about a year ago, springing from a passion for grilling and an inability to find a truly great burger.

"We believe that food is in its most delicious state when grilled," he said. "We were really intrigued by being able to make the world's greatest burger."

The Makuens moved from New York five years ago and have so far found Seattle much more accommodating to grilling due to the milder weather, he said.

"In New York you can grill four to five months a year," Makuen said. "You can grill pretty much year round in Seattle."

Makuen said BuiltBurger burgers stand apart because they are infused with flavor, rather than just flavored on top.

08/12/2009
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Michael Harthorne

West Seattle resident David Makuen, outside a temporary retail site in Ballard, founded, along with his wife, Rebecca, the Web-based burger delivery company BuiltBurger.

The Duwamish Longhouse and Cultural Center is holding a community garage sale this Saturday, Aug. 15, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and the public is encouraged to bring items to sell and/or donate.

"It's a win-win," said Cindy Williams, operations manager of the Longhouse. "If you stay with your booth you keep all the money less 10-percent,which goes toward the Duwamish legal fund. Otherwise, you can drop off donated items, labeled with prices, and what we sell would all go to the fund."

Williams, the daughter of Cecile Hansen, Chairwoman of the Duwamish Tribe, said that at the end of Saturday's sale, unsold items that were donated will be given to another charity. The Duwamish legal fund goes toward fees incurred in its battle for federal recognition of the tribe.

Hansen will be serving salmon lunches and her famous fry bread at the garage sale.

The Duwamish Longhouse and Cultural Center, 4705 West Marginal Way S.W., (206) 431-1582.

08/11/2009
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Steve Shay

Cecile Hansen, chairwoman of the Duwamish Tribe, will serve salmon lunches and her famous fry bread at the Duwamish Longhouse garage sale this Saturday, Aug. 15.

West Seattle-based Animals First Foundation threw a silent auction and raffle Aug. 9 at Vino Bello Wine Shop and Wine Bar in Burien.

A few furry critters greeted the 60 or so guests who attended to lend their support to the animal rights group that finds care, and homes, for hard-to-place dogs and cats, as well as promotes awareness about opposition to seal and whale hunting.

( Previous coverage here.)

Animals First founder is Admiral Junction resident Carina Borja. Its president is Heather Enajibi, an Auburn resident who grew up in West Seattle and attended Highline High School.

Hosting were Charlie Beck and Tony Leamer, band members of the Memphis Radio Kings. Beck is lead vocals and rhythm guitar player. Leamer is drummer, percussionist, and back-up singer. Neither performed in the musical sense, but according to many there, both added wit and charm to drum up business for the raffle and auction. Beck was a big hit with his ticket-filled apron.

08/11/2009
SLIDESHOW: Four-legged fundraiser a success
Photo credit: 
Steve Shay

Animals First Foundation president Heather Enajibi (left) with Furry Faces Foundation's Teri Ensley at a recent fundraiser for Animals First. Ensley is a friend and supporter of Enajibi and Animals First. CLICK PHOTO TO VIEW SLIDESHOW.

Public comments sought

After several hearings and meetings, the city has released its “draft Director’s Rule” on Residential Parking Zone's. There will be a month-long public-comment period.

While West Seattle currently only has one Restricted Parking Zone in the Fauntleroy neighborhood, the proposed changes have been a topic of concern among some here because some areas, such as the Junction, are interested in enforcing such zones.

View the 20-page proposal here.

Questions and comment regarding the proposed rule can be directed to Ruth Harper at (206) 684-4103 or via e-mail at rpzparking@seattle.gov.

According to the draft changes, proposed criteria for establishing a new Restricted Parking Zone are as follows:

The Seattle Department of Transportation will need to decide whether or not a Restricted Parking Zone in a certain area would promote benefits or would result in adverse impacts.

08/11/2009
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Photo courtesy Seattle Department of Transportation

The city is considering changes to the rules for new Restricted Parking Zones, which could possibly be considered for the West Seattle Junction. The draft rule was released earlier this week.

She was all decked out in dress made of sea kelp and a hat made of fungus. Tiny embellishments of seedpods with little bits of clamshells and glitter worked into the bow.

A mischievous face carved out of an avocado pit that peeked out from under it. All on a wee handmade doll not four inches tall. Her niece’s red hair was used for that one.

A dead hummingbird in a tiny leaf basket on the windowsill – kept for the bones.

I love it.

This is perfectly normal in the Pearson household. And I love the eye candy, the inspiration and the stories that go along with it.

I don’t like things I can figure out right away. I think that’s why I love gardening so much, because you can never know enough about enough. Gardening is a constant learning curve full of twists and bumps and dips – and if anyone tells you otherwise, they are full of organic compost.

So, to take nature and make art from it ~ my two loves blended it into one ~ is heaven to me and Bobbe Pearson had been doing it all her life (I have been doing for half that time – but still all my life!).

08/11/2009
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Photo credit: 
Janit Calvo

A sample of Bobbe Pearson's miniature natural dolls that she has made over the years. Much of her work was given away freely and was not documented.

On Aug. 10, the Seattle City Council authorized the Department of Information Technology to begin the first phase of development of the Public Engagement Portal.  

In August of 2008, council member Bruce Harrell requested the Department of Information Technology to work with other city departments to develop a Public Engagement Portal.  The goals of the portal are to 1) engage and listen to Seattle residents more effectively, 2) optimize two-way communication between policy leaders and residents, and 3) enhance the city’s customer service system.

The Public Engagement Portal will be called My.Seattle.Gov.  An important feature at My.Seattle.Gov will be the single sign-on system, which will allow users the ability to have one simple login account to access a wide range of services available on Seattle.Gov, such as, obtaining a building permit, paying a parking ticket, paying a utility bill or finding employment.  

The expected launch date for the initial service offerings will be the second quarter of 2010.

Additional public engagement tools, including a simple online poll to capture resident’s feedback, will soon follow, according to council staff.

08/11/2009
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