‘Continuing the conversation’: Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole to return to West Seattle next week

March 6, 2015 at 8:32 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle police | No Comments

Just announced by the organizers of last month’s disruption-shortened West Seattle community conversation with Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole (WSB coverage here, with video): She’ll be back to “continue the conversation” next Wednesday (March 11th). When we spoke with Chief O’Toole right after her February 3rd visit, she promised to return for a second try at West Seattle Q/A, and that’s what this is intended to be. The meeting is set for 6:30-8:30 pm at the Senior Center of West Seattle in The Junction (California/Oregon).

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Friday updates; Highway 99 project reminder

March 6, 2015 at 7:31 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 1 Comment

(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
No alerts so far this morning. One big reminder for next week and beyond:

HIGHWAY 99 LANE CLOSURES: The long-term lane closures just north of downtown are now expected to start next Wednesday. And next Monday night into Tuesday morning, northbound 99 will close completely starting at the Battery Street Tunnel. Details here.

8:32 AM NOTE: Still a relatively quiet commute today!

Girls Who Code has room for more this summer – but Friday’s the deadline

March 5, 2015 at 11:07 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle online | No Comments

We got a note today from the West Coast regional director of the nonprofit Girls Who Code, looking for more 10th- and 11th-grade girls to apply for a free summer-immersion program. The catch – the deadline is tomorrow (Friday), so hurry!

Due to exponential growth, Girls Who Code is welcoming additional applicants for its 2015 Summer Immersion Program. Girls in 10th and 11th grade have until tomorrow, Friday, March 6th at 11:59 PM PST to submit their applications for Seattle.

Girls Who Code is partnering with Adobe, Amazon, AT&T, Expedia, Google, and Microsoft!

Go to girlswhocode.com/applynow to apply now!

The Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program represents an innovative approach to computer science education, pairing seven weeks of intensive instruction in robotics, web design, and mobile development with engaging, career-focused mentorship and exposure led by the industry’s top female entrepreneurs and engineers.

Participation is free and no prior CS experience is required, just an interest in learning more about Computer Science in an encouraging environment.

Safety alert circulated to Madison parents: Student ‘grabbed,’ harassed

March 5, 2015 at 8:02 pm | In Safety, West Seattle news | 7 Comments

Madison Middle School sent a robo-call safety alert to families tonight. We hadn’t heard about the incident that triggered it until several parents asked about it; so far as we’ve heard, the alert was only sent via robocall, and not via e-mail, but one parent forwarded the audio file and we’ve transcribed it below. The voice was that of assistant principal John McDonald and he described it as “an important safety message regarding an incident that occurred in the community today.” Here’s what follows on the recording:

This morning, we had a Madison student come to school and report an incident involving an unknown individual. The student reported that a male approximately in his early to mid 20s got off a Metro bus at the same time the student got off the Metro bus near the McDonald’s on California Avenue, approached the student, and grabbed the student. After the student went to McDonald’s, the male continued to follow the student, asking for money, and then calling the student names, after the student told him that they didn’t have any money. The student then ran to Madison and immediately reported the incident to school personnel … (then) the Seattle Police Department was contacted.

The message did not have any additional information about the incident, but continued with safety advice for parents to share with children, including walking in well-lit, well-traveled areas, not walking alone, not taking unfamiliar shortcuts, being aware of your surroundings – acknowledge people but don’t “try to stare them down” – don’t display valuable items such as phones or money, and not wearing headphones with music blocking out ambient sound and preventing them of being aware of what’s going on around them.

We’re trying to reach police to find out more about the incident and will add anything more that we find out, though it might take us until tomorrow.

UPDATE: Seattle Lutheran boys win 1st game at state, play Lummi Nation tomorrow

March 5, 2015 at 5:09 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | 3 Comments

Just in from Spokane – Seattle Lutheran won its 1B boys-basketball state quarterfinal game, 58-36 over Cusick. Their next game will be at 7:15 tomorrow versus the winner of tonight’s next game, Entiat vs. Lummi Nation.

10:35 PM UPDATE: Lummi won that game, so that’s who the Saints will play Friday night. The other semifinal includes Shorewood Christian, which is in the unincorporated area just east of Arbor Heights, so there’s a chance right now that the state 1B championship game could feature 2 teams from schools less than 10 miles apart.

Seen off West Seattle: USS Ranger under tow to scrapyard

March 5, 2015 at 3:06 pm | In Seen at sea, West Seattle news | 10 Comments

(Added 4 pm: Texted photo – thanks!)
Like the Constellation last year, the mothballed aircraft carrier USS Ranger is now under tow from Bremerton to a Texas scrapyard. MarineTraffic.com shows it off south Bainbridge with tugboats including the 155-foot oceangoing tug Lindsey Foss; it should be visible from north West Seattle. Here are details from the Kitsap Sun, which reports the USS Independence will be next to make the same, final journey.

ADDED: Thanks to Gary Jones for the photo added above this line.

PHOTOS: West Seattle High School girls lose 1st game in state tournament at Tacoma Dome; play again Friday morning

March 5, 2015 at 2:02 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | 1 Comment

(EVENING UPDATE: Photos added)


2:02 PM: The game has just begun, in the 3A girls’ basketball state-championship quarterfinals at the Tacoma DomeWest Seattle High School Wildcats vs. Lynnwood Royals. You can watch a live webcast on Sound Live Sports Network; we’ll also publish periodic updates.

(WSB photos by Patrick Sand, added Thursday evening)
2:07 PM: West Seattle got out to a 4-0 lead. Lynnwood has just scored its first basket at 5:22 to go in the first quarter, and the score is now West Seattle 4, Lynnwood 2.

2:12 PM: Lynnwood has gone on an eight-point tear and is ahead 10-4 with 3:23 to go in the first quarter.

2:20 PM: End of the first quarter – Lynnwood 14, West Seattle 6.

2:39 PM: At halftime, it’s Lynnwood 29, West Seattle 17. WSHS scoring leaders in the half were Charli Elliott (#10, above) with 6 and Izzy Turk (#3, below) with 5.


3:18 PM: Lynnwood is ahead 58-33 with 2:20 to go in the game.

3:26 PM: Game over – West Seattle loses to Lynnwood, 60-36.


WSHS is now in the consolation round, with another game tomorrow morning (added: 10:30 am Friday vs. Prairie). Full report with photos and more later.

ADDED 9:58 PM: We’ve added photos interspersed with the updates above, plus a few more with some observations below. The lopsided score doesn’t reflect aspects including how much of the game was a wrestling match – the Wildcats and Royals battled for the ball so many times (numerous jump balls, which is the only stat that the tourney’s comprehensive form didn’t seem to capture). Here are three instances we caught on camera:

That was both a testament to the Wildcats’ fighting spirit and to the tenacity of their opponents. While WSHS often dominates on rebounds, this was one time in which the other team seemed to be everywhere, including in just the right place to pull down the boards, outrebounding the Wildcats – but not by much – 37-32. Lynnwood also was defensively aggressive, requiring West Seattle to bulldoze through to have a chance at a shot, as #12 Annalisa Ursino was doing here:

Getting a clear route to a pass had its challenges at times, too:

Elliott ended the game as WSHS’s leading scorer, with 11. #32 Emily Fiso was next, with 8 points:

#30 Lexi Ioane was right behind with 7:

(Flanking Lexi in that photo are #3 Izzy Turk and #11 Lani Taylor.) #4 Lydia Giomi was held to 5 points but tied with Elliott on rebounds, 8 each:

Head coach Sonya Elliott and team are back on the court at 10:30 am in Tacoma, and we’ll be there too.

(Their opponent, the Prairie HS Falcons, are from Clark County in southwestern Washington.)

2015 Election: 10th candidate for District 1 City Council, just announced – Pavel Goberman

March 5, 2015 at 1:57 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 22 Comments

1:57 PM: An 10th name has turned up on the city website as a candidate for the new District 1 (West Seattle/South Park) City Council seat – Pavel Goberman. Though his website, getenergized.com, describes him as a “Portland fitness guru,” and he has run for offices in Oregon in the past, the Seattle candidacy declaration puts him at a Highland Park address.

IN THE DISTRICT 1 RACE NOW: Pavel Goberman (declared 3/5/2015), Tom Koch (declared 2/19/15), Dave Montoure (declared 2/17/15), Lisa Herbold (declared 2/11/15), Shannon Braddock (declared 2/11/15), Brianna Thomas (declared 2/11/15), Phillip Tavel (declared 2/4/15), George Capestany (declared 11/11/14), Amanda Kay Helmick (declared 10/20/14), Chas Redmond (declared 12/20/13). Filing deadline is May 15th; primary election is August 4th. Along with voting on the D-1 position, West Seattle/South Park also will vote on the two “at-large” spots, Positions 8 and 9.

2:48 PM NOTE: Thanks to Diane for correcting us. Somehow we leapfrogged #10 and declared this to be the 11th – Goberman is candidate #10, and we have corrected that above.

Chief Sealth IHS gets ready for first-ever Global Issues Network conference

March 5, 2015 at 1:15 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | No Comments

This is also a big day at Chief Sealth International High School, with an all-school assembly as part of Global Issues Week, which culminates in the first Washington Global Issues Network Conference on campus the next two days. As explained in the announcement we published last week, this will bring hundreds of students and teachers from the region and beyond to Sealth over the next two days. Above, student coordinators Aisaya Corbray and Paloma Robertson, with Linda Sills from the Global Issues Network; below, professional snowboarder Lucas DeBari from the group Protect Our Winters:

Also organizing the conference, Sealth teacher Noah Zeichner, who shared the photos; it’s a successor of sorts to World Water Week, the “ideas festival” that he and student coordinators have led for the past four years. As with WWW, the event has a major focus on student-led activities and discussions; toward that end, the theme is “Our Future Is Now.”

‘Let’s go, ladies!’ Pep-assembly sendoff as West Seattle High School girls head to state basketball tournament

March 5, 2015 at 11:20 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | No Comments

They’re on the road now, and in less than three hours, the Metro League champion West Seattle High School girls’ basketball team will be on the court at the Tacoma Dome, one of eight teams vying for the state 3A championship. They boarded their bus after a loud-and-proud pep-assembly sendoff in the school gym about an hour ago. Head coach Sonya Elliott recalled the excitement of the postseason win against two-time state champ Cleveland, and the thrill of someone remarking it was great to see students up on their feet raucously cheering a girls’ basketball game:

The coach declared they were off to “take care of business at the Tacoma Dome,” with an aside to her players: “Let’s go, ladies!” Emceeing the assembly, athletic director Trevor Leopold declared this to be a great day in WSHS history. The cheer squad offered a few cheering lessons, and the band preceded everything with the fight song:


And before the rally, WSHS principal Ruth Medsker showed off the commemorative T-shirt:


While she can’t play because of an injury that cut her season short, senior Gabby Sarver rolled into the rally, accompanied by teammates Emily Fiso and Lexi Ioane.

And senior Charli Elliott took the mike to say she is “so proud of her teammates,” recalling that they won just three games her first year – and now, here they are going to state:

We’ll be updating from Tacoma during the game, which also will be webcast live by the Sound Live Sports Network (which regularly webcasts Lynnwood games).

One more reminder: Even if you won’t be there to cheer for them today, you can give the girls an assist via a donation through the West Seattle Booster Club to help them cover the costs of going to the tournament – because of the game scheduling, they have to stay overnight in Tacoma, and that means hotel and food costs, among other things – here’s where to donate (be sure to specify that it’s for “girls’ basketball”). They thank everyone who’s given so far!

West Seattle Thursday: Otto the otter update! Plus Design Review, theater x 2, adventurer Erden Eruç, much more…

March 5, 2015 at 9:45 am | In West Seattle news, WS miscellaneous | 12 Comments

Before the calendar highlights for today/tonight – an Otto update! David Hutchinson shares that new photo of the Duwamish Head-frequenting otter, with this update:

Otto the river otter is continuing to entertain folks walking along the Alki Trail past Duwamish Head. He’s visited his favorite spot 7 of the last 9 days, usually hanging out from about 11 AM – 5 PM. His behavioral pattern is to bring in his favorite food (a flounder) to eat on the rocks nearby, and then make a stop on the sand to dry off his fur, do some grooming, and take a short nap. Then it’s back out for some more fishing. There’s no guarantee that this will continue, as river otters circulate around to different sites in their territory.

Even though river otters are not marine mammals, Seal Sitters has had volunteers around most days to answer questions and is always looking for new members. The next training is on Sunday afternoon, March 22nd, at the Alki Bathhouse. Go to www.blubberblog.org for additional details and to find where to RSVP if you would like to attend.

Now, from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

FREE CAR-SEAT SAFETY CHECKS: Wonder whether your baby/toddler/child seat is correctly installed/fastened? Swedish Automotive (WSB sponsor) is offering free checks 11 am-2 pm today and tomorrow, any vehicle make/model, not just the ones in which they specialize. (35th/Kenyon)

FAREWELL RECEPTION: As previewed here earlier this week, the Log House Museum is saying goodbye to manager Sarah Baylinson (headed to Oregon!), and you’re invited to stop by for her farewell reception 3-4 pm today. (61st/Stevens)

COMMUNITY ORCHARD OF WEST SEATTLE: First of the season’s weekly work parties, 4-6 pm – all welcome – details here. (6000 16th SW)

‘OLD SCHOOLHOUSE’ TASTING NIGHT: 5-8 pm at The Beer Junction – details in our calendar listing. (4511 California SW)

DESIGN REVIEW FOR 4515 41ST SW: 6:30 pm at the Senior Center of West Seattle, the Southwest Design Review Board takes another look at the 4-story, 66-bed memory-care center proposed for 4515 41st SW in The Junction. Preview the “packet” here. Public comment welcome. (Oregon/California)

MEET HISTORY-MAKING ADVENTURER: 7 pm at Emerald Water Anglers (WSB sponsor), meet West Seattleite Erden Eruç, who’s in the records as the first to circumnavigate the globe on his own. And that’s far from all he’s accomplished! Hear his stories and see his photos – as previewed here. (42nd/Oregon)

HOLY ROSARY SCHOOL PLAY: 7 pm, second of two performances of ‘Fairy Tale Network‘ – read about it in our calendar listing, then go applaud the young performers! Free but “donations warmly accepted at the door.” (42nd/Genesee)

‘CHINGLISH’ OPENS AT ARTSWEST: First performance, 7:30 pm, for the new production at ArtsWest Playhouse (WSB sponsor). It’s described as a “laugh-out-loud comedy.” Tickets available online, here. (4711 California SW)

MUCH MORE! on our calendar.

Elliott Bay sea trials ahead for Washington State Ferries’ M/V Tacoma

March 5, 2015 at 9:00 am | In Seen at sea, West Seattle news | No Comments

(WSDOT photo from Wednesday as Tacoma’s tow got under way from Bainbridge Island)
If you saw that big state ferry under tow in Elliott Bay toward downtown on Wednesday – it was the M/V Tacoma, and you’ll see a lot more of it from here over the next three weeks, even before it goes back into service on the Bainbridge-Seattle run next month following seven months of work. From the Washington State Ferries‘ announcement about its sea trials:

… Starting (today) people may see the Tacoma in Elliott Bay or at Colman Dock as crews conduct three weeks of sea trials to thoroughly test the ferry’s new circuit breaker.

“During the past seven months, we inspected and rebuilt the damaged propulsion switchboard system,” said Tim Browning, acting director of vessel maintenance and preservation. “Now it’s time to test the system and make sure it is working properly while the vessel is underway.” …

Once the testing is complete, the Tacoma will undergo its annual U.S. Coast Guard safety inspection before returning to service on the Seattle/Bainbridge Island route in April.

The Tacoma, built in 1997, lost power on July 29, 2014, while traveling from Seattle to Bainbridge Island. A design flaw prevented a protective circuit-breaker device to work as it should. This caused a chain of events that resulted in significant damage to the electrical switchboard components, which ultimately led to the power failure.

P.S. Thanks to Janna for the tip about this.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Thursday updates/alerts

March 5, 2015 at 7:15 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | No Comments

(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
Heading into the heart of the commute – no major glitches, just the usual slow spots.

TIME CHANGE ALERT: With the weekend in view, it’s time to start talking about what’s ahead. Saturday night/Sunday morning at 2 am, it’ll become 3 am – time to “spring forward” into Daylight Saving Time.

Here’s what happened at the West Seattle edition of Seattle Public Schools’ low-tech ‘tech town hall’

March 5, 2015 at 2:42 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | No Comments

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Sticky notes – paper sticky notes – were the most tangible product of the last of five Seattle Public Schools “tech town halls.”

It wasn’t meant to be ironic, though SPS technology has long been less than cutting edge. Evidence of that was famously on display at the now-demolished Arbor Heights Elementary during a 2012 tour:

The wiring running along the ceiling in a rundown hallway was part of a project by now-retired teacher Mark Ahlness that included rigging Internet connectivity. Tech-ifying schools often took innovators like Ahlness, who also made AHES one of the first schools to have a website, 20+ years ago.

But we digress. Flash ahead now to 2015, and the series of “tech town halls” that SPS wrapped up with the southwest edition at West Seattle High School this past Monday night. One of the slides nodded to the low-tech past by declaring: “It’s easy to look at the technology available in our schools and ask Why? Tonight is your opportunity to dream of what we can do and ask Why Not?”

The gathering, with about two dozen people scattered around the WSHS commons, was very deliberately not about proposing, reviewing, or criticizing specific equipment/software/etc., existing or future. It was intended to gather answers to questions about what students, teachers, parents would like to see happen – outlining a “vision” – so that technology could be used/procured to meet those goals.

The district’s Chief Information Officer Carmen Rahm led the meeting; the district’s southwest region executive director of schools Israel Vela spoke too, as did West Seattle/South Park school board rep Marty McLaren:

McLaren observed, “Technology is so important these days, and it’s so important that we get it right.”

Rahm urged participants not to limit themselves via “perceived obstacles or challenges,” although he made a point that his department has about half the number of people he believes it should have to support tech endeavors around the district – 16 now, while it should be 40 or so.) In explaining the type of goals/hopes they hoped to elicit from participants, he gave a few examples of “vision” statements: “Parents/guardians should have easy online access to student records” or “Sensitive information is only accessible by authorized individuals.”

Asked by Rahm to suggest others, attendees’ ideas included information about current events, online copies of what students are learning in the classroom, assistance for multi-lingual families, keeping school libraries open later so that students without access at home can still use technology in the evenings (the person who brought this up mentioned an example in Yakima). Rahm also showed examples of drawings of the potential “classroom of the future” – featuring technology that already exists. One example was attributed to a student who said math bored her but she enjoyed soccer and thought she should be able to use soccer to explore math concepts.

The heart of the meeting splintered off into small-group discussions at the tables, each of which had classically low-tech paper and writing implements, with the mission to draw a picture of “a day in the life of a Seattle Public Schools student” and write a short script about what in the sketch benefits from technology, and/or to write more vision statements that could be added to whiteboards. Here are a few more that we photographed:

Our table included two district employees and director McLaren, and conversation ensued instead, as well as an impromptu demonstration by one of the district employees showing ways that phones or tablets could be used in classrooms even if every student didn’t have access to a device – photographing work and displaying it on the front-of-classroom projection, for example.

After the small-group discussions, Rahm opened the floor for questions:

One question he was asked – how can CITY leaders support your vision? Municipal broadband is great, said Rahm – too many students go home and don’t have access to it. He’s on the mayor’s tech advisory board, he noted, in hopes of “collaborat(ing) more on initiatives that are going on.”

Another – is there any particular voice you’re not hearing from? he was asked. He couldn’t name one. He then cited someone asking him what was the most surprising/shocking/mind-blowing thing he had been asked, saying he had replied that the most surprising thing was that there WAS no surprising thing, he said.

Yet another question acknowledged his ebullience and enthusiasm – but, they asked, does he have support at the district? He voiced confidence that he does: “I wasn’t brought in to maintain status quo … I’m as motivated as I’ll ever be.”

So what’s next? Rahm noted at one point that all this looks ahead to the next BTA (buildings and technology) levy in a year. But first, they’re taking feedback on results of the district’s recent tech summit- go here to review it – as well as more comments on the “tech vision” (even if you weren’t at this meeting, you can e-mail techvision@seattleschools.org). Summit and town-hall input will be consolidated; a video about “a day in the life of an SPS student” will be created in spring. Then “once the vision is complete and approved,” June-October, they’ll develop a technology strategic/action plan and a multiyear technology roadmap. But first – they want to hear your thoughts on the desired results, before they figure out what it’ll take to get there.

West Seattle biznote: What else is going into Oregon 42

March 4, 2015 at 11:11 pm | In West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | 7 Comments

(Photo courtesy Beehive Salon)
Another of The Junction’s new storefronts has a tenant. Just this morning, Laurie e-mailed to say it looked as if another space in Oregon 42 at 42nd/Oregon, next to Emerald Water Anglers (WSB sponsor), had been leased. Then tonight, we received e-mail from Annie of Beehive Salon, which she describes as “an Aveda Concept salon in Wallingford that (is) opening a second location in West Seattle,” saying the Oregon 42 space is where they’re going. Annie says Beehive “offers hair, skin, and body services in a fun, professional, and welcoming environment … We couldn’t have picked a better spot and look forward to joining the neighborhood.” Their website says they’ve been in Wallingford for 15 years. They’re expecting to open the expansion salon here in May.

VIDEO: Time-lapse view of tunnel machine moving into repair pit

March 4, 2015 at 9:54 pm | In Alaskan Way Viaduct, West Seattle news | 5 Comments

Following up on this morning’s news that the Highway 99 tunnel machine had made it as far into the repair pit alongside the Alaskan Way Viaduct as it needed to go, WSDOT has released the 1:14 time-lapse video embedded above. According to this morning’s update, taking its cutterhead apart to be lifted out for repairs is expected to take weeks.

VIDEO: Seattle Lutheran sendoff as boys’ basketball team heads to state tournament

March 4, 2015 at 7:13 pm | In West Seattle news, WS & Sports | 2 Comments

As the school day came to an end at Seattle Lutheran, students gathered in the gym to wish the boys’ basketball team good luck at the state tournament, which starts tomorrow in Spokane.

Then it was time for team pictures out in the sunshine:

The commemorative T-shirts list the team members, and head coach Brett Kapels:

The Saints open the 1B tournament playing Cusick at 3:45 tomorrow afternoon; more info here. They advanced to the state’s final 8 with a regional win over Yakama Nation last Saturday in Bellevue (WSB coverage here).

P.S. As you probably know, the West Seattle High School girls are playing in the state tournament too; their first game is 2 pm tomorrow in Tacoma, and WSHS plans a pep assembly in the morning before they leave.

Followup: Fire Station 29 now set up in interim North Admiral site

March 4, 2015 at 5:05 pm | In Safety, West Seattle news | 6 Comments

As of today, interim Fire Station 29 is officially up and running in those temporary structures on the city-owned right-of-way triangle at Ferry/44th/Hill, across from Admiral Congregational Church and down the street from permanent Station 29.

As first reported here in January, this wasn’t in the original plan for where Station 29 would go while its permanent quarters get earthquake-safety upgrades and a bit of other remodeling; for many months, the city had said it would instead be located at the Harbor Avenue site that had been used for interim Station 36, and the neighbors of this site weren’t notified until eight weeks ago, days before site prep began. They voiced safety concerns but ultimately the plan proceeded, and Engine 29 is now operating out of the temporary station; SFD spokesperson Kyle Moore confirmed to WSB that today was moving day. Also: Battalion 7, which had been based at 29, is now at interim Station 32 on 40th SW in The Junction, home to Engine 32 and Ladder 11 while permanent station 32 is rebuilt, and Medic 32, as noted here last month, has moved temporarily to Station 37. Bottom line – for the next year-plus, you’ll see emergency vehicles emerging from places you’re not necessarily used to seeing them.

P.S. The future of the North Admiral site, post-interim Station 29, is on the agenda for next Tuesday’s Admiral Neighborhood Association meeting, 7 pm at The Sanctuary at Admiral (42nd/Lander).

What constitutes ‘frequent transit,’ when it’s time to decide how much parking a development needs or doesn’t need?

March 4, 2015 at 2:44 pm | In Development, West Seattle news | 28 Comments

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Back in December, we reported that the city was planning to rewrite its rule about what kind of transit availability is required before development projects to be built without parking. That was part of the fallout from a ruling by the city Hearing Examiner on a West Seattle group’s challenge to issues including a project’s use of multiple bus routes/stops to contend “frequent transit service” was available nearby.

That group, Seattle NERD, says the proposed “director’s rule” runs counter to the ruling in their appeal (we covered the appeal hearing – here, here, and here – and the ruling, last fall). This is all unfolding as the deadline for comment on the rule rushes up – it’s tomorrow (March 5th).

If you blinked, you might have missed the notice that the rewrite was ready for review and comment (we did, until Seattle NERD pointed it out) – it was linked from this notice in a recent edition of the city’s Land Use Information Bulletin, and lumped in with an unrelated proposed rule change, as per the screengrab below:

The overview of the proposed rule:

Purpose

The purpose of this rule is to define the Department’s requirements for demonstrating that a development site is eligible to be developed without parking (pursuant to 23.54.015 Table A, Row J or Table B, Row M) or qualifies for a 50% reduction in amount of required parking (pursuant to 23.54.020.F) due to the site’s location within walking distance of frequent transit service (FTS).

Background

To promote environmental and transportation policies of the Comprehensive Plan and support alternatives to driving, either no parking is required, or a reduction in the required amount is allowed for residential uses in multifamily and commercial zones in areas of the city where transit service is adequate to serve commute and non-work related trips.

The full text of the proposed rule is here. (Note that its example involves 35th/Avalon.)

It would, as Seattle NERD alleges, allow combination of bus routes and stops to arrive at a determination of “frequent transit” availability. The group points this out, including color-coded comparisons, in detail on the home page of its website. It’s pointed this out to City Councilmembers, and at least one, West Seattle-residing Tom Rasmussen, has promised to check it out.

This isn’t just an abstract process; the future of at least a few development projects awaits the decision – for example, the microhousing project planned at 3050 SW Avalon Way (with no offstreet parking) has been corresponding with the city on the issue.

If you have any comment on the proposed rule, e-mail Mike Podowski, whose address is on the notice – and again, tomorrow is the deadline.

Crime Watch: Safety alert after student approached; car prowl

March 4, 2015 at 12:39 pm | In Crime, Safety, South Park, West Seattle news | 3 Comments

Two Crime Watch notes this afternoon:

STUDENT APPROACHED: This happened in South Park, but the student attends Pathfinder K-8 in West Seattle, and the alert is being circulated among parents in both communities, so we were asked to share it:

My 14 year old daughter was approached by a man on Trenton Street while she walked to her school bus stop this morning. This guy obviously had no good intentions! My daughter describes him as Hispanic, thin with dark hair. His car was a gray 4-door sedan of an older (1990s) model. She believes that he was using or on some sort of substance.

His intent was to get her into his car!!! She avoided his questions, got to her bus stop and called the police. She has since given a statement to police (at her school) and her school has been made aware of what happened this morning.

I want to be clear: My daughter felt threatened by this man and that he was very intent on getting her alone. Please help keep an eye out for this person and help keep our kids safe!!!

Via Twitter, the police log indicates this was near 10th Avenue S./S. Trenton (here’s a map).

CAR PROWL: Two car prowls are on the police log so far this morning. One was reported in the 7300 block of Delridge Way, and we learned of the other one in this reader report from David:

My car was broken into in the Gatewood area just west of 35th sometime between 1100 PM and 0700 AM. A window was broken and some items removed. It has been reported to the police.

SPD shared car-prowl-prevention/deterrence advice a month ago; we published it then but it bears sharing again:

Heads up if you walk, run, and/or ride to/from Alki Beach: Repair work ahead at 53rd Avenue Pump Station

March 4, 2015 at 11:14 am | In Environment, West Seattle beaches, West Seattle news | No Comments

Sidewalk detours and a bus-stop move are ahead next week with repair work at the 53rd Avenue Pump Station on Alki Beach. We just received the official notice from the county Wastewater Treatment Division – you can scroll through it above (or read it here, as a PDF). The county expects work to start next week and last up to a week.

Five ways to spend part of your West Seattle Wednesday night

March 4, 2015 at 10:44 am | In West Seattle news, WS miscellaneous | No Comments

From the WSB Flickr pool (thanks!), Patrick O’Brien‘s sunset photo captures not just the colors and the water, but also a neighborhood … one of the million reasons to love living here. So now we look ahead to what’s happening (besides, maybe, another beautiful sunset) tonight – highlights from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

BECOME A MASTER COMPOSTER! INFO SESSION: 6 pm at Chaco Canyon Organic Café in The Triangle, join Seattle Tilth for an informational session about its upcoming “master composter” training – details in our calendar listing. (38th/Alaska)

Y UPDATE, COUNCILMEMBER @ SW DISTRICT COUNCIL: 6:30 pm, it’s the monthly meeting of reps from community councils and other organizations/groups in western West Seattle, comprising the Southwest District Council. On the agenda: An update on the West Seattle YMCA (WSB sponsor) expansion project and Q/A with City Councilmember Sally Clark (one of three, so far, who have announced they’re not running for re-election). Upstairs at the Senior Center of West Seattle. (Oregon/California)

KIWANIS CLUB OF WEST SEATTLE: Thinking about joining a local service club? The Kiwanis Club meets in the evening now, 6:30 pm Wednesdays, and you’re welcome to join them tonight at their regular meeting spot, Senior Center of West Seattle. (Oregon/California)

HOLY ROSARY SCHOOL PLAY: 7 pm, first of two performances of ‘Fairy Tale Network‘ – read about it in our calendar listing, then go cheer the young performers tonight. Free but “donations warmly accepted at the door.” (42nd/Genesee)

OPEN MICROPHONE @ SKYLARK: Signups at 7:30, performances start at 8:30 pm, free and fully backlined, open to 21+, every Wednesday night at Skylark Café and Club – details in our listing. (3803 Delridge Way SW)

Help celebrate Youngstown Cultural Arts Center’s ninth birthday!

March 4, 2015 at 9:40 am | In Delridge, West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | 2 Comments

It’s been 9 years since Youngstown Cultural Arts Center opened in Delridge’s historic Frank B. Cooper School building, and you’re invited to celebrate on March 28th:

It’s back! Youngstown’s annual birthday party, the Thrive, returns this March for an evening of family-friendly arts activities, games, and entertainment at the Youngstown Cultural Arts Center in West Seattle. This year, the celebrated, dynamic arts hub is ringing in its 9th year of fostering arts and cultural activities for West Seattle and the city at large. Thrive 9 is a community-fueled night of fun and frivolity that encourages neighbors and friends of the center to come dance, play

The party features the energetic musical stylings of Eduardo Mendonça, award-winning Brazilian singer, composer, and Show Brazil band leader; and Eli Rosenblatt, bringing kid-friendly, multilingual songs in swing, reggae, salsa and samba styles. Also performing is the Dogg Pound Dance Crew, a youthful breakdance group who found their beginnings at Youngstown. Seattle Balloon Arts is back again this year, twisting custom balloons to amaze and astound.

Thrive 9 welcomes families and adults alike, and will feature a lounge area for the 21+ crowd who want a beverage and snack while the kids enjoy making art with Youngstown staff and volunteers as they bounce to the beat of the musical offerings. Guests will enjoy refreshments provided by community partners including Chaco Canyon, Spiro’s Pizza & Pasta, Metropolitan Market, Hilliard’s beer,

Proceeds from the event will benefit critical youth arts programming and facility needs at Youngstown. Tickets can be purchased by visiting brownpapertickets.com/event/1238982.

The building itself is coming up on its centennial – read more about its history here.

(WSB photo, 2012)
Its grand opening as an arts center was in February 2006.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Wednesday on the move; tunnel machine goes as far as it’s going, for now

March 4, 2015 at 6:59 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 1 Comment

(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
6:59 AM: Good morning – clear and cold to start the day; no surprises on the outbound roads so far.

7:15 AM: Since it’s quiet, we took a look at the camera showing the Highway 99 tunnel-machine continuing to advance into its rescue pit:

You can see the newest view any time here. No formal update from WSDOT yet this week.

ADDED 10:25 AM: Didn’t realize when we grabbed that image that the machine has now reached the point where it’s stopping for repairs. WSDOT has since published this update, saying the “disassembly process will likely take weeks.”

Wheelchair basketball championships this weekend in West Seattle: Spectators and volunteers invited!

March 3, 2015 at 9:47 pm | In West Seattle news, WS & Sports | No Comments

More championship basketball in West Seattle! This weekend, Seattle Adaptive Sports is hosting the West Coast Conference Championships of the National Wheelchair Basketball Association at the WSHS gym, with players in the junior/preps classification, high-school age and older. Organizers are inviting spectators – no admission fee – and also seeking volunteers to help with scorekeeping, time-clock, possession-arrow duties, and preparing/serving lunch. You can sign up via this link on VolunteerSpot (which, we’re told, does not require you to set up an account). The games run 9 am-4 pm Saturday and 9 am-2 pm Sunday, as noted on the official flyer, which you can see here if the embedded version above isn’t showing up for you.

West Seattle biznotes: Art Nest, Rudy’s opening dates

March 3, 2015 at 9:02 pm | In West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | 3 Comments

Two West Seattle biznotes:

RUDY’S BARBERSHOP: 2 1/2 years after first word that Rudy’s Barbershop planned a West Seattle location, it’s opening this Friday. Rudy’s confirmed last summer that it would move into the ex-Diva/Maestro/Ace 1 space at 4480 Fauntleroy and has now announced the opening date. No word on the co-housed Caffé Vita, though.

WEST SEATTLE ART NEST: It’s been just a few weeks since word that this new kids-art studio was moving into 4138 California SW north of The Junction, and now its grand-opening party is days away: Saturday (March 7th), 3-6 pm.

Followup: Southwest Precinct bicycle patrol gets official approval

March 3, 2015 at 5:03 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 14 Comments

(WSB file photo)
For more than a few months, two Southwest Precinct officers have been riding bicycles whenever possible, to patrol areas including Roxhill Park, Lincoln Park, and The Junction, as well as the Westwood area after the wave of robberies targeting students. It’s an experiment by precinct commander Capt. Steve Wilske, who has said repeatedly – as noted in our community-group coverage dating back to last spring – that it’s worked out so well, he was trying to get more officers on bicycles throughout the area. And he’s finally received official approval to do just that, he told community activists who posted to the South Park community mailing list, and we subsequently confirmed it with him.

Capt. Wilske says he expects to have the bicycle patrol set up within a month or so, as a few details remain to be worked out. He says, “We will have a total of 6 officers, with a maximum staffing of 4 per day (2 in Frank sector, 2 in William sector and 2 off duty). I have to admit I am pretty excited about this, I think it is going to be good for the officers and great for the neighborhoods.” He told the South Park advocates something we’ve heard him tell local groups: “My experience from being a bicycle officer myself is that this style of patrolling is one of the most effective ways to deal with street-level crime, and makes the officer approachable to those folks who may not want to call 9-1-1 but will walk up to an officer and talk to them.

P.S. If you aren’t familiar with the West Seattle/South Park sectors, here’s the newest map.

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