Tonight’s Morgan Community Association meeting at The Kenney was really two meetings in one. For the first hour, president Deb Barker cracked the whip to keep a jammed agenda galloping ahead, to leave maximum time for the second hour (and then some) to focus on the reason for a big turnout (more than 50 people) – the controversial proposals for “Combined Sewer Overflow” control in the area feeding Murray Pump Station at Lowman Beach. We’re writing a separate, long story on the latter discussion – full of “passions,” as visiting Fauntleroy Community Association president Bruce Butterfield put it – but before then, here are the highlights of what else was discussed in Hour 1, from a change in the Kenney’s redevelopment, to the case of homophobic-graffiti vandal Ryan Cox, to a RapidRide update, to park proposals, to the official date for the Morgan Community Festival, plus a followup to the Beach Drive mudslide – read on:
In order of their presentation during hour 1:
PARKS AND GREEN SPACES LEVY OPPORTUNITY FUND PROJECTS: Three applications are in from the Morgan Junction area – described as the 6765 41st and Parshall Place project, ORCA, and Friends of Orchard Street Ravine. The applications themselves aren’t publicly available yet. The Levy Oversight Committee will be discussing the review process at its next meeting, 7 pm Monday at Parks HQ downtown.
BLOCK WATCH: Southwest Precinct Crime Prevention Coordinator Ben Kinlow has been on a tour of community councils lately, and stopped at MoCA tonight. He urged everyone present to form a Block Watch if they’re not in one already. He also mentioned two big summertime events, as he does at all these appearances – the Night Out block parties that often bring together Block Watch neighbors (among others), always on the first Tuesday in August this year, which will be August 3rd, and this year’s Picnic at the Precinct, set for August 21st.
RYAN COX CASE: Last we heard of the man arrested twice, then found incompetent to stand trial, both after long sprees of vandalism in West Seattle – mostly involving homophobic graffiti – he was arrested for a different kind of vandalism in February, but out of jail within a few days after pleading guilty. The precinct’s city attorney liaison John McGoodwin explained one important component of the case – that Cox was sentenced to 365 days in jail, with 363 of those days suspended – and if he gets into trouble any time soon, all or part of the rest of the sentence can be reinstated. McGoodwin added that if you see Cox or anyone else in the act of graffiti vandalism, call 911.
CANDIDATE’S PITCH: One of the four candidates for 34th District State House, Position 2, Joe Fitzgibbon of Burien, got a couple minutes to make his pitch. He said a major reason he’s running is that he wants to help pass legislation dealing with the root cause of problems, not just “band-aid fixes .. and (legislators say) maybe next year” they’ll get to the heart of the matter. Among the biggest issues he said suffers from this: “The failure to fund basic education.” He also tied his concern in with the Combined Sewer Overflow issue that had brought so many concerned neighbors to the meeting, saying that while it was an attempt to fulfill a state mandate, “the options are constrained … so we’re not looking at it holistically.”
THE KENNEY: T.J. Lehman of Junction-headquartered Euclid Development gave a dizzyingly quick update that seemed to have some big news buried in it: “The first round of comments (on the project) boiled down to , ‘you’re too big.’ We’ve heard that and are trying to make something smaller.” So the project team – which Lehman said has “change(d) some people,” though he described them as mostly involved with finances – will take a few months to tweak the project (which still has to go through at least one Design Review meeting) and will “present it to the community.”
RAPIDRIDE: MoCA board member Chas Redmond brought an update he attributed to Chris Arkills, transportation expert for King County Executive Dow Constantine. The first terminal to be designed in West Seattle for RapidRide, at the Fauntleroy ferry Terminal, is slated to be finished with design by this August, Redmond said, with construction starting in January of next year. But the construction for other terminals – Westwood Village, Morgan Junction, Alaska Junction, The Triangle – won’t happen until spring of 2012. Before RapidRide – as the county had promised when it mentioned the branding itself would be delayed – frequency will be increased next year on Route 54, every 15 minutes between 6 am and 9 pm. And he urged those on hand to be ready to participate in a big way when the county gets ready to talk about route changes in connection with RapidRide’s 2012 debut: “If we want a bus to go around West Seattle [a circulator], come out in droves.” West Seattle RapidRide, known as the C Line, is scheduled to formally debut at the same time as the Ballard D line, in September 2012.
NEIGHBORHOOD STREET FUND PROJECTS: MoCA’s Steve Sindiong said two projects are in the works for street-fund money: Improved pedestrian access across California SW at Holden, Othello and Frontenac, perhaps curb bulbs or repainted crosswalks or push-activated signals; also, a walkway for the west side of 44th SW along the east side of Solstice Park.
FIRE STATION 37: A crew was on hand for part of the meeting, watching from the sidelines – with one update: The new Station 37 is expected to open in October.
SPOKANE STREET VIADUCT: Since SDOT’s Stuart Goldsmith was at the Delridge District Council (see our story), he couldn’t be at MoCA, but president Deb Barker recapped some of the major points, particularly that May 17th closure of the 1st Avenue South ramp to the westbound West Seattle Bridge. Southwest District Neighborhood Coordinator Stan Lock noted from the audience that an official Spokane Street Viaduct Widening Project presentation is booked for the next meeting of the SW District Council, 7 pm May 5 at South Seattle Community College (WSB sponsor).
(WSB photo from January)
BEACH DRIVE SLIDE: The MoCA president also had information from SDOT about what’s been going on since the mudslide that temporarily closed Beach Drive in the 6000 block in January. Bottom line, the city Department of Planning and Development is working with two Atlas Place property owners (uphill from the slide zone), 6067 and 6053, According to Deb Barker’s correspondence with SDOT, the homeowners are supposed to put in drainage pipes that will go all the way downslope to the road, instead of draining to mid-slope. The newer of the two homes, she said, was supposed to have one such pipe when it was built, but did not; the other was built so long ago that it’s impossible to know what it was originally supposed to have.
MORGAN COMMUNITY FESTIVAL: This annual tradition returned last year after a year off, and it was a huge hit. The date’s now been set for this year, said MoCA’s Cindi Barker — 11 am-7 pm on Saturday, June 12th. Popular features like the “Bite of Morgan” and live music will be back, and the festival will be in the same spots – behind the Feedback Lounge (WSB sponsor)/Zeeks Pizza building, and alongside Beveridge Place Pub, with some activities in Morgan Junction Park (which was dedicated at the start of last year’s festival). Barker and Sindiong also said they’re looking for volunteer help – setup and takedown, in particular – you can find contact information on the MoCA website at morganjunction.org.
The next MoCA meeting is on July 21st, 7 pm, The Kenney – but again, we’ve got one more report coming up in the morning, focusing on the issue that took up 60% of the meeting – proposed Combined Sewer Overflow options for the Lowman Beach area.