Lots of news to share from tonight’s Southwest District Council meeting in the board room at South Seattle Community College:
FIGHTING/PREVENTING CRIME: Southwest Precinct Operations Lt. Pierre Davis announced a public-safety forum for 7 pm March 29th at the precinct (Delridge/Webster), focused on a very specific section of northeastern West Seattle, from the bridge to Boren, centered on Delridge Way SW and the adjacent streets. Lt. Davis explained, “We want to try to strengthen the Block Watch capabilities (there) … (since) we really got hammered with petty crimes and burglaries” in recent months, though as he recapped, multiple arrests have made a big dent in that previous trend. He said the “if you see something, say something” philosophy is helping bring in more tips from citizens in other areas of West Seattle, but they would like to see more tips come in from the Delridge neighborhood, and are hoping that the forum might educate more people on best practices for preventing and reporting crime/suspicious activity.
Next, two reports from SDOT, on current work and a future event:
(Photo from Ventana Construction [WSB sponsor] Facebook page – work on SE corner of California/Findlay)
RAPIDRIDE-RELATED STREET/SIDEWALK WORK UPDATE: SDOT’s Jonathan Dong, who had spoken to the SWDC before about the construction, was there with James Sido, a rep from the construction company that’s working on the right-of-way changes (Tri-State) to facilitate RapidRide Line C, which Metro is launching to replace West Seattle’s Route 54 this fall. (We reported last month on the start of work in south West Seattle.) The Rose, Webster, and Myrtle stops on Fauntleroy have now received their new concrete, though Sido said that the Myrtle concrete “had an issue” and needs to be redone, which is “high on their priority list to get that area up to speed as quickly as they can.”
The work that’s happening in north Morgan Junction right now is drainage work, he said, with a new stop to be located there; he also mentioned the major work on the northbound side of California at Findlay. Sido explained that the landowner was going to have some side-sewer work done, and asked that this be folded into the RapidRide-related construction project. He says the next areas where you’ll see work crews are Fauntleroy/California near Zeeks Pizza and the southbound side of California at Findlay. They hope to have this segment of work “substantially completed” by May.
Dong reiterated, in response to a question, that stops further south, such as the Fauntleroy ferry dock vicinity and Westwood Village, are being handled by county crews. Morgan Community Association rep Chas Redmond asked SDOT’s Dong to make sure someone takes a look at the areas along California where Puget Sound Energy has done gas line work and left behind a “temporary patch.”
Dong says the rechannelization of SW Alaska – changing a car lane to a transit lane and removing some parking, among other changes that he acknowledged are “going to be the most visible change in the community” – will likely happen in early April. They want to “blanket the area for one or two blocks in both directions” with reminders, and Dong says that’ll happen about two weeks before the work is done. What’s holding up the scheduling right now is that they’re waiting on the traffic-signal work. The work will take a few days and will likely start around 7 am, said Sedo, though Erica Karlovits of the Junction Neighborhood Organization suggested they might consider starting later to avoid rush-hour complications. Dong thinks the work will take two to four days, weather-dependent, of course. Karlovits and West Seattle Junction Association‘s Susan Melrose both stressed that the more warning, the better, since the lane and parking changes will be a surprise (if not shock) to some people, both shoppers, businesspeople/employees, and Junction-area residents.
Admiral Neighborhood Association vice president Karl de Jong asked the two if the projects were creating jobs in West Seattle, and also about what kind of labor and apprenticeship agreements were involved; they didn’t have answers but promised to get back to him. Next SDOT topic:
(WSB photo from 2011 Seattle Summer Streets on Alki)
SUMMER STREETS/CAR-FREE DAY: SDOT’s Sonia Palma talked about the 5th annual car-free day on Alki as part of Seattle Summer Streets. As reported here last month, the date this year is May 20th, starting with the West Seattle 5K (co-sponsored again this year by WSB). Palma says the street-closure plan is the same as last year, with a full closure from 63rd to Don Armeni for the race, and then, after 11 am or so, the closure only extending eastward to 58th SW for the Summer Streets remainder of the day. SDOT is currently looking for sponsors and organizations interested in participating, while also asking community reps to get the word out about the big day.
Even more from tonight’s meeting, including quick updates on key projects that individual groups are focusing on, ahead:
COMMUNITY TECHNOLOGY PROGRAM: David Keyes, the city’s community-technology program manager, said April 3rd is the deadline for community technology grant applications – one for technology literacy and access; grants of up to $20,000 area available, supported by cable-franchise fees. Civic engagement projects are the other category, he said – and that doesn’t just mean Internet projects, he said. You can find out all about it at seattle.gov/tech.
He also mentioned an upcoming contest,”Apps for Seattle” – April 27th-29th at City Hall, a “StartupWeekend-dot-gov” type of event, a developer-intensive “crunching” weekend will be held – partly, Keyes said, to see “what else can we do with the city’s data.seattle.gov portal … and make that more available to the public in different formats?” They’ll be looking for community ideas on what kind of applications will be most useful. After that, they’ll have till August to submit their apps. So if you know developers, get the word out! The site for the contest isn’t ready to launch yet, though.
GATHERING OF NEIGHBORS UPDATE: From Chas Redmond – student musicians, a martial-arts troupe, possibly some breakdancers are among the entertainment lined up so far for the April 21st Gathering of Neighbors community-building fair/open house event, happening at Chief Sealth International High School.; speakers will include the legendary Jim “Neighbor Power!” Diers. Keep tabs on the event by going here, till their new website is up within a week or so. (We’ll publish an update when that happens.) Redmond mentioned they’re trying to get the South Park area involved in GoN this year, too.
TELL THE STORY OF YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD: Lois Maag from the Department of Neighborhoods talked about a contest that’ll be held for community videos as part of the Seattle Center 50th anniversary celebration – and they’re looking to ALL communities/neighborhoods, not just those near the center. Find out all the details here.
Toward the start of the meeting, there was a turn around the table for updates on projects that participating organizations are working on:
WEST SEATTLE JUNCTION ASSOCIATION: From Susan Melrose: WSJA is moving ahead with West Seattle Summer Fest – they’re going to try to bring back a second entertainment stage this year, and they’re also working with Sustainable West Seattle to bring back the sustainability-focused GreenLife activities area. Later in the year, she said, the WS Junction Car Show will be back.
JUNCTION NEIGHBORHOOD ORGANIZATION: They’re working on the dog-waste issue that has roiled folks in the neighborhood (it’s been a hot topic in the WSB Forum). Dog owners just aren’t scooping, and that’s a health hazard, among other things, so strategy is being plotted to try to tackle the problem.
FAUNTLEROY COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION: With the Barton Street Pump Station expansion project and RapidRide stations/stops, there are three projects that’ll be under construction soon in Fauntleroy, per Vlad Oustimovitch. He also mentioned FCA’s annual membership meeting, Food Fest, coming up on March 20th, at The Hall at Fauntleroy.
UNSUNG HEROES: Michael Shilley from the Highland Park Action Committee and Delridge Neighborhoods District Council talked about the Unsung Heroes banquet coming up – they’re still looking for nominees, and have received 13 so far. (Here’s our previous story.)
ADMIRAL NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION: Vice president Karl de Jong said planning continues for the Summer Concerts at Hiawatha series, and ANA continues to support the Admiral District’s new business association.
SOUTHWEST SEATTLE HISTORICAL SOCIETY: March 18th, they’re inviting people, particularly youth and elders, to Southwest Library to be part of the forthcoming “Telling Our Westside Stories” exhibit, talking about both memories and places they enjoy now. SWSHS is particularly interested in more participating from the southern communities – Highland Park, White Center, South Park. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
MORGAN COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION: Chas Redmond mentioned the work under way at Lowman Beach in preparation for the Murray Basin CSO-control project. Also: The Morgan Junction Community Festival is June 23rd.
ALKI COMMUNITY COUNCIL: President Tony Fragada said that ACC is continuing to work on addressing the problem of landslides in the area.
The Southwest District Council, comprised of representatives from community councils and other organizations primarily based in western West Seattle, meets monthly, usually the first Wednesday, 7 pm, in the board room at South Seattle Community College on Puget Ridge.