The news from tonight’s Pigeon Point Neighborhood Council meeting wasn’t just about/for Pigeon Point. For starters – a plaintive reminder, especially apropos on a rainy night early enough in fall that the leaves are still not all off the trees – KEEP YOUR DRAINS CLEAR! You want them to look more like this:
Even if a clogged drain doesn’t cause trouble for your home or street – it can divert water somewhere that trouble WILL be caused. Meantime, other topics at PPNC tonight included a jail-site update, Delridge Community Center/skatepark-project updates, Cooper Elementary School update, library funding, and the reason why PPNC suddenly needs a new leader – all ahead:
NEW LEADER: As tonight’s meeting began, Pete Spalding announced that PPNC chair Matt Swenson has resigned because he’s gone back to school. So the search is on. He later recapped some of the Pigeon Point group’s many accomplishments in recent years, including increasing park space and traffic calming. As another attendee chimed in, “We didn’t become a great community accidentally.” Nobody was put on the spot tonight to jump up and volunteer to take over, but it’s hoped somebody will come forward soon.
(February 2008 WSB photo of a Cooper School EARTH Project work party)
COOPER ELEMENTARY: That’s where tonight’s meeting happened, and it’s in many ways the heart of the Pigeon Point community. Its enrollment is up this year, by about 40 students, to around 300 total. Its renowned EARTH Project is making great strides, and as part of that, a proposal is being floated to close the Pigeon Point Park gate at 19th/Genesee (map) at least part of the time “journaling stations” with seating are added as part of an “outdoor classroom” project — there’s concern it may attract more park loitering and parking. One meeting attendee said it would be preferable to address problem behavior if/when it happens, rather than penalizing everybody by restricting access. Spalding reminded neighbors to be sure to call 911 when they see/hear trouble – even if an officer isn’t or can’t be sent, calls are logged, and that’s how the Southwest Precinct determines where/how to allocate preventive resources. One more Cooper Elementary note: They can still use some help from people who can come read with students during the school day.
JAIL SITES FIGHT: Highland Park Action Committee chair Dorsol Plants came to PPNC to update Pigeon Point on what’s up with the campaign against locating a potential city misdemeanor jail on one of two southeastern West Seattle sites that are in the city’s “final four.” Plants says HPAC has now morphed into a strategy that boils down to “no new jail, period.” Under pointed questioning from one attendee, Plants explained that the position isn’t one of contending “these offenders don’t need to go to jail,” but rather, dealing with other ways to find room for them — such as, pay King County what it wants to charge for space in its jail(s), rather than the lower rate Seattle has been paying. As for the official process, which has been quiet for a few months now, Plants says Seattle city leaders are still saying they can’t do anything till their new partners in a potential site search, smaller north/east King County cities, catch up with the process … but also waiting for a reply on a proposal to King County to build more jail space downtown, city pays to build it, county runs it. According to Plants, city and county leaders both “need to hear there are still citizens who are very concerned and are paying attention and need some form of resolution about what’s going to happen.” He added that HPAC and Real Change will be teaming to present a “no new jail” forum in the near future, date/time not quite finalized yet (we’ll let you know as soon as it is).
DELRIDGE COMMUNITY CENTER/SKATEPARK: Ryan Spencer from Delridge Community Center visited the meeting to let Pigeon Point neighbors know that the center wants to hear from its users about their interests – and shared one example, a Tai Chi class starting after the first of the year, by request. He and Spalding also both talked about projects in the pipeline such as the Delridge Skatepark, for which the mayor’s budget request apparently contains $600,000. The last formal community meeting was in July (WSB coverage here), but once the amount of available funding is known, more meetings will be set. Spalding also pointed out that the parks levy on the November 4th ballot — which he helped shape, as a member of the Parks and Green Spaces Levy Citizen Advisory Council that met for months before it was finalized — includes money for artificial turf at Delridge Playfield. (As we’ve reported, that money also is in the mayor’s budget proposal, so the turf seems to be a done deal one way or another.) Between the playfield and the skatepark, Spalding said, “If those two things happen down here, our Delridge Community Center would be basically turned into a crown jewel in the parks system” — especially considering the recent Brandon Roy-namesake basketball-court renovation, too (WSB coverage here).
PIGEON POINT COMMUNITY EVENT RECAP: Great pride over how quickly neighbors switched to Plan B once it became clear the weather wasn’t going to clear up; as our photo above from that day (above) shows, they moved the kids’ play stuff indoors and still managed to have a great party with more than 100 in attendance. “For our first attempt, I thought it went well,” Spalding said modestly. “Hopefully we’ll be able to do it again.”
Other quick notes:
LIBRARY FUNDING SUPPORT: We’ve mentioned that Friends of Seattle Public Library members are concerned the library’s collections budget won’t get all the money it needs; Sarel Rowe attended tonight’s meeting to talk about area libraries (the Delridge branch is the closest one) and to ask for support.
CONCRETE CONCERNS: This wasn’t a formal agenda item, but came up in group discussion toward the end of the meeting. From Pigeon Point down to the south end of Youngstown Arts Center at Delridge/Oregon, there’s “something cracking the concrete infrastructure” – and nobody’s sure yet what it is — underground water woes? — but trying to find out more.
GRAFFITI REMINDER: If you see it, call the city hotline 206/684-7587 immediately (or report it online). If you’re in Pigeon Point, alert the PP mailing list too, as some neighbors have paint and brushes at the ready. “We want to make sure we wipe it out as quickly as possible,” Spalding said. “If we do that, then maybe (the graffiti vandals) will get tired of visiting us.”
The Pigeon Point Neighborhood Council’s meetings are generally held every other month; watch for word of a PP Christmas party.