Several West Seattle community groups have been lobbying city councilmembers to keep the Neighborhood Service Center in The Junction and its coordinator Stan Lock, instead of the cuts proposed in Mayor McGinn‘s original budget, and it looks (pending a final council vote) like that will happen. But as noted during last night’s Admiral Neighborhood Association meeting, ANA leaders went an extra mile and arranged in-person meetings with five councilmembers. ANA president Katy Walum said they explained that the council’s original “keep almost all coordinators citywide but cut them to 80% time” was not acceptable, given what coordinators are counted on to do. Walum noted that research also enabled them to help councilmembers clarify the lease status for the NSC in The Junction. She said they asked about management restructuring to save money (though as observed during this morning’s council budget meeting, it looks like that’s not being mandated). Also on the agenda last night – the newest developments in the Viaduct/Tunnel, the big Metro changes this winter, and more – lots of quick-read info in the toplines after the jump:
COMMUNITY POLICE TEAM: Southwest Precinct Officer Ken Mazzuca stopped in briefly at the start of the meeting to reintroduce himself – he’s back from a military deployment and has rejoined the Community Police Team. (He’s handling the William sector – mostly west West Seattle.)
METRO: Jack Lattemann was at the meeting to explain the changes early next year that we reported here last month – mostly that some of the West Seattle buses that now travel on 1st will be switching to 3rd. The change date remains February 5th; Metro will send extra alerts, earlier than they usually announce what’s changing on their “service change” days. He was also asked about RapidRide: “Why is it taking so long?” asked ANA past president Mark Wainwright. Lattemann attributed that to a previous “phasing decision” and said that while in hindsight it might have been better to launch the service for West Seattle before all the impending construction effects, it’s also not bad for WS that the bugs are being worked out elsewhere – such as a problem with 15 traffic signals on Pacific Highway South that are supposed to recognize information from approaching RR buses, but currently are not. “There are some advantages of being third on the list,” Lattemann said. “I’m not seeing them,” smiled Wainwright. “We don’t have the staff to do three or four of these (RR) lines at once,” Lattemann added. (West Seattle’s Rapid Ride C Line is scheduled to launch in September 2012.) Another Metro question he was asked: Will the downtown waterfront trolley ever be a trolley again? Not finalized, said Lattemann, while observing that changes have been made (track removal) that would make it a significant undertaking to restore the streetcars (a bus travels the route now instead).
VIADUCT/TUNNEL: Wainwright is a member of the Central Waterfront Working Group, one of three community advisory groups working with WSDOT (we have been most closely covering the South Portal Working Group, which has three West Seattle representatives), and he’s been the only member representing West Seattle community groups, while noting that WS activist Chas Redmond is also on the Central Waterfront group, on behalf of FeetFirst. He gave ANA a quick review of what’s in the new Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Study – for which the public-comment period is now under way. And Wainwright reminded the group of next Monday’s WSDOT informational meeting in West Seattle (6-8 pm at Madison Middle School). After an inquiry about its format, we checked with Kristy Van Ness, who’s with the Viaduct/Seawall Project – she says it’s open-house format, like previous meetings in the Madison commons, and you are invited to share tunnel-report comments one of two ways: Talk to a court reporter, who will transcribe what you have to say; type your comments on a computer that will be provided at the meeting.
NEXT YEAR’S ANA OFFICERS: Walum will continue as president; Karl de Jong will become vice president; current VP Jim Cavin will become secretary; Ann Limbaugh will continue as treasurer.
NEW ANA WEBSITE: Sylvia Rolle is heading up this project and says it’s getting closer – the group just needed to decide whether to pay a nominal fee for hosting, or to keep the site on the free WordPress.com service.
NEXT YEAR’S SUMMER CONCERTS AT HIAWATHA SERIES: Side meetings to plan for next year’s series are continuing; organizers plan to introduce “a chance for families to contribute” in addition to business sponsors, plus there’s talk of involvement from outside the group – they’ve spoken to local online/radio personality Marty Riemer about emcee/music-selection help (we photographed Marty and family at a concert last summer) and they even pitched city councilmembers on possibly emceeing concerts. Dave Weitzel says they also are talking about possibly doing one of the concerts at Alki, since the potential community-center cuts are expected to mean that Alki Community Center cannot sponsor summer concerts as they have in the past.
47th/ADMIRAL: They’re still talking to the city about safety improvements at this intersection, where a pedestrian was killed four years ago. Walum says SDOT mentioned that it has a lower user count than other intersections under review around the city. Wainwright suggested an awareness campaign, perhaps even including a demonstration at the intersection, recalling the success of the “Our Town West Seattle” campaign to save Charlestown Café four years ago.
EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS: Sylvia Rolle is point person on this too; she briefed the group on the October 16th drill and said that in both drills and an eventual real-world need for the Communication Hub to spring into action, more people will be needed – so she asked members to go back to their neighborhoods and invite more people to get involved.
Admiral Neighborhood Association meets the second Tuesday of the month, 7 pm, Admiral UCC Church lower-level meeting room.
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