West Seattle, Washington
From tonight’s Fauntleroy Community Association meeting:
SOUTH BRACE POINT COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION: Spokesperson Mark Johnson told FCA leaders this new group formed last month; 7 members came to FCA tonight to get acquainted. While they acknowledge that Brace Point (map) is part of the greater Fauntleroy area, they want to advocate for certain neighborhood-specific issues, such as traffic safety along 50th SW and the part-private/part-public pedestrian trail connecting 50th and Fauntleroy. They’re researching whether to make the path more uniformly accessible, and also looking into possible improvements to some of the neighborhood staircases.
ROAD/SIDEWALK IMPROVEMENTS? FCA’s Vlad Oustimovitch is working on a proposal for SDOT regarding some areas that need to be fixed up, in the Endolyne vicinity, including the commercial “triangle” area and sidewalks near Canine Casa.
Fauntleroy Community Association’s meetings are usually the 2nd Tuesday, 7 pm, in the old schoolhouse.
From tonight’s Junction Neighborhood Organization meeting:
JUNCTION PARKING REVIEW PROGRESS: SDOT‘s project manager Dante Taylor (right) briefed the group –Though the decision NOT to propose pay stations for street parking in The Junction has been in the books for a month and a half, the decision on whether to make ANY changes in parking in that area hasn’t been made yet – but it’s getting closer. The Junction Parking Project Committee will meet again toward the end of this month (no date announced yet); Taylor says whatever proposal emerges after that will be put up for public comment in October; a decision would be made in November; and implementation would happen early next year. Some Junction-area residents, particularly east of the commercial core, say they’d like to see a Restricted Parking Zone so that their streets wouldn’t be crowded with “park-n-hiders” who they say drive from other parts of West Seattle to catch the bus. But Taylor showed a variety of parking-usage stats that seemed to cast some doubt on whether the spaces were consistently full enough to merit an RPZ. JuNO president Erica Karlovits said, “I don’t know what the numbers are going to tell you, but I can tell you what I see outside every day – people are lined up waiting for anybody to pull out of their space, and those people don’t come back (for their cars) till 6, 6:30 (pm).” One other tidbit: Where restrictions are posted, there’s a 90 percent compliance level — he didn’t know, however, how that compared to other parts of the city. He also distributed numbers on parking usage in various areas at various times of day; you may not be surprised to hear that the least-used spaces are The Junction’s private-lot paid spaces – checks at 1 pm on two different days reported no more than 46% utilization on weekdays, no more than 19% utilization on weekends. While the RPZ issue is still clouded – Ann Sutphin with SDOT said a compromise measure might be parking restrictions in neighborhoods for certain hours of the day – Taylor said there’s a possibility that some time-limit signage could be implemented in areas that don’t have it now, toward the south end of the commercial district – he’s got a meeting coming up with the West Seattle Junction Association to listen to businesses’ thoughts.
JUNCTION PLAZA PARK: According to Karlovits, Friends of Junction Plaza Park is getting close to the end of fundraising for the $350,000 or so needed to finally build the park, years after the site was purchased. She also says that – as happened with Morgan Junction Park to the south – much-needed sidewalk work will be done in conjunction with park construction; a $60,000 grant has been secured to help with that, and SDOT is seeking funding for the remaining $14,000 or so. Karlovits says there will be one more public meeting to finalize details of park design before construction – likely in early October. If all goes well, groundbreaking could happen next February, and the park could be complete in May.
JuNO usually meets every other month, second Tuesday, 6:30 pm, at Ginomai Arts Center.
(Photo by Karen, from last year’s “World Naked Bike Ride” through Seattle)
Last year, we didn’t hear about it in advance – then the photos, texts, e-mails started rolling in – unclothed bike riders pedaling along major Seattle streets, including a stretch along Alki on the way to the end of the ride at Lincoln Park. This year, it’s been announced via Twitter, where organizer Daniel Johnson goes by @rawexuberance – he just tweeted tonight that it starts with a meetup at noon this Sunday at Aaron’s Bicycle Repair in Morgan Junction. According to the WNBR Seattle wiki site (SFW but some of its links aren’t), the route sounds a lot like last year – to Admiral, Alki, and back around to Lincoln Park (which is close to the starting point). 11:56 PM NOTE: Last year, police were notified in advance of the unclad cyclists’ ride, and explained to WSB afterward why no one was arrested; we’ll be checking tomorrow to see if similar notice has been given this time around, and if police policy remains the same (no arrests unless there’s lewd behavior OR someone complains directly to police).
We put out a call on Facebook this afternoon inviting anyone with kids heading off to school for the first time this week (or last week!) to share a photo if they’re so inclined … and the first one is courtesy of Kristin, featuring 4-year-old Elliot, who starts tomorrow at West Seattle Montessori (WSB sponsor, opening its new location in White Center), photographed with Cameron (9) and Elena (7), who started Holy Rosary last Tuesday. More back-to-school news later tonight; if you’ve got a photo to share tonight or tomorrow, e-mail it to firstname.lastname@example.org or share it with us via Facebook or the WSB group on Flickr (see the links atop the sidebar).
Thanks to the photo at left from Rick, we reported Sunday on a group of “transient” orcas being seen in the Sound, passing Fauntleroy, northbound. Tonight, we’re sharing a comment just left beneath that story from Susan with the Orca Network: “A late breaking update – this morning this pod was again seen in Puget Sound – off Shilshole at 10 am heading south, and again at 1:50 pm, still heading south. They have been confirmed as Transient orcas and ID’d as the T137s, with T36A & her offspring T36A1 – they must be heading back down to So. Puget Sound for more of that seal buffet!”
Per the Seattle Times (WSB partner), the state Transportation Commission just approved a 2.5% ferry-fare increase that takes effect in a month. But commissioners said no to a proposed 10 percent summer surcharge on top of the current peak-season surcharge. Here’s the full story.
Remember the Junction KeyBank robbery on August 5th? The FBI has just sent out a bulletin saying that robber – who has turned up on camera in several other recent robberies around the city – is believed to be half of a team blamed for 17 holdups in the past three months. Here’s the official “bulletin” flyer. FBI agent Frederick Gutt says, “If they are, in fact, responsible for each of these, it would make them the most prolific bank robbers in the Seattle area since 2006. The suspects should be considered armed and dangerous. We could use the public’s help with identifying them. Anyone with information regarding these suspects is asked to contact the FBI at (206)622-0460 or email@example.com.” 4:07 PM UPDATE: Reading through a spreadsheet that accompanied the news release – the same pair are suspected of two other West Seattle robberies – July 10th at Alaska USA in Westwood Village QFC, and July 15th at US Bank on Edmunds across from Jefferson Square. Here are the photos on the “bulletin” linked above:
Not shown in that montage, here’s the photo we got from the FBI after the July 10th Westwood Village robbery:
Here’s the FBI’s list of the 17 robberies they believe to be linked to this team.
(WSB photo by Christopher Boffoli)
Though the Port of Seattle has said they expect the homeless encampment that calls itself “Nickelsville” to be off port property (T-107 Park in West Seattle) by September 30th, organizers have announced an “open house” for just a few days before that: 3 pm September 26th. It’s in a statement published on their website last week; that’ll be a year to the day after police swept through their original location (also in West Seattle, on city-owned land; WSB coverage here). Port spokesperson Charla Skaggs tells WSB the deadline for them to clear out remains Sept. 30th, and says trespass notices restating that date were put up August 25th. The Nickelsville online update also mentions the death of an encampment resident; Skaggs says the cause of death remains under investigation, with a report expected from the Medical Examiner in about two weeks.
There’s advice for everybody in King County, in the announcement by county Public Health that a dead crow in Laurelhurst tested positive for West Nile Virus – “the first West Nile positive finding in King County in 2009,” they say. The advice: Protect yourself against mosquito bites. And report any dead birds to 206-205-4394, or by sending an online report (scroll down this page). Only one human case of WNV has been reported in our state this year, in Klickitat County; this state report about that case includes symptom info. (Side note – the aforementioned county website section has a handy-for-multiple-purposes bird-ID gallery.)
Just back from our interview with Jessica Murphy, who you might call the road-rebuilding/paving guru for SDOT. We arranged to speak with her regarding the Fauntleroy reconstruction/repaving/rechannelization project now that it’s almost over, and we’re writing that story next, but in the short run, we first asked how the 16th SW reconstruction north of South Seattle Community College is going, 6 weeks into the project. Answer: Going well, on schedule, “hoping to have final paving done before the fall quarter starts at SSCC,” Murphy told us – that’s September 29, according to the SSCC calendar. She says the section of 16th SW that’s being rebuilt between Brandon and Findlay is a “fully reconstructed full-depth asphalt road” – up to 10 inches of asphalt atop a crushed-rock base – wider, too, and SDOT has worked with Seattle Public Utilities to fix the drainage problems that were partly to blame for the road’s condition – standing water after rain, compounded by heavy bus usage. Here’s how part of that stretch of 16th looked on Google Street View BEFORE the reconstruction project:
Fauntleroy report coming up.
All locations of The Seattle Public Library reopen today, Tuesday, Sept. 8, after a weeklong systemwide furlough. All services were shut down, including the Web site, and all book drops were locked.
The systemwide closure, along with other cuts, helped the Library meet a 2 percent budget reduction – about $1 million – this year. The closure saved approximately $655,000.
The closure meant salary reductions for about 700 employees who were not paid during the furlough week. An additional $350,000 in cuts – which included management and administration layoffs, extending the staff computer replacement schedule and reducing the training budget, have also been implemented.
All four West Seattle branches are open 1-8 pm today (here’s the page you can use to find any branch citywide). Meantime, the Friends of Seattle Public Library group is still collecting responses to its survey on the library system’s value, as part of its “Neighborhood Report” – if you haven’t already, you can join in here.
The proposal for 33 homes on a site in the 4700 block of 15th SW (west of here) has been in the works since at least 2006, according to city records, but – as reported here August 10th – a new “determination of non-significance” was recently issued. Now, that decision has been appealed. Today’s Land Use Information Bulletin says the hearing is scheduled for 9 am October 27 (at the Hearing Examiner‘s offices, 40th floor of the Municipal Tower downtown).
No reason to entirely write off what technically remains of summer – some fun events are coming up later this month (including Holy Rosary’s Westfest Sept. 18-19, the Junction Car Show [co-sponsored by WSB] on Sept. 20, the Alki Beach 5K [WSB sponsor] Sept. 27) – nonetheless, starting tonight, things get serious again. Many community groups skipped August on the meeting calendar, and tonight it’s back to business. Including:
JUNCTION NEIGHBORHOOD ORGANIZATION
6:30 pm, Ginomai (42nd/Genesee; map)
****The ongoing Junction parking review remains a hot topic, particularly the question of whether it will result in RPZs. Also big: Fundraising completion for Junction Plaza Park.
Holy Rosary, Our Lady of Guadalupe and Holy Family started last week; Seattle Public Schools start tomorrow; and today, it’s day one for hundreds more West Seattle students including Seattle Lutheran High School and most students at neighboring Hope Lutheran. (Public schools on neighboring Vashon also start today; in the other direction, Highline Public Schools — including the White Center and Burien areas — start tomorrow.) Happy new school year to all!
Kacy started her e-mail with an attention-grabbing line: “The Seattle Fire Department was here this morning.” She proceeded to clarify … “for a *good* reason.” Which it certainly was. She has a hearing-challenged child, and therefore qualified for a free smoke detector: “For the first time in his life, when my son is in bed without his hearing gear, is now aware that the smoke detector is going off. How cool is that?!” Smoke detectors that are “either strobe lights or shakers,” as Kacy explains it, are available through an SFD program that serves deaf/hard-of-hearing people within the Seattle city limits. Education coordinator Bill Mace invited Kacy to share that info with anyone who might benefit, and she in turn asked us to help spread the word. Contact Bill at 206-386-1337 or firstname.lastname@example.org – see what the city website says about this program here.