Story and photos by Jason Grotelueschen
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
Gearing up for a busy summer was the primary order of business at Tuesday night’s Admiral Neighborhood Association meeting, led by president Katy Walum. From the 4th of July Kids Parade to the Summer Concerts at Hiawatha, there will be no shortage of activity during the summer months, and ANA is ready to help make it happen.
As usual, the meeting was held in the lower level of Admiral Congregational Church (California/Hill) but was preceded by something new: A pre-meeting potluck to give neighbors a chance to get to know each other in light of recent violence citywide and community concern in West Seattle. Attendees brought a dish to share and deemed the event a success, and Walum said ANA will likely make it a regular prelude to their future meetings. “No pressure to stay for the meeting,” Walum added, “just a chance for neighbors to meet and talk.”
Highlights from the meeting itself:
“WELCOME ABOARD”: That’s the new slogan for the Admiral District’s business association, and group president Parris Sadow (from Atomic Boys) and vice president Kirk Mead (from WSB sponsor Umpqua Bank) were on hand to talk about what’s been keeping them busy. In addition to the slogan and upcoming events discussed in their June 4 meeting (WSB coverage here), Sadow and Mead talked about their overall goals of beautifying the neighborhood, fostering community, reducing traffic congestion, adding signage, sponsoring special events, and of course generating excitement and awareness about Admiral businesses. Anyone interested in helping their cause or getting more information can contact the group at firstname.lastname@example.org, or attend their next meeting on Monday July 9th from 6:30-8pm at Heartland Café‘s Benbow Room.
SUMMER CONCERTS AT HIAWATHA: As reported on WSB previously, the lineup is set for ANA’s popular summer concert series at Hiawatha Park, Thursday nights from 6:30-8pm from July 26 through August 30. Attendees signed up and volunteered to help represent ANA and organize things onsite for the various concert dates. Event sponsors are continuing to sign on to support the series, and Walum announced that guest emcees such as West Seattleites Jim Dever (Evening Magazine) and Marty Riemer (103.7 The Mountain radio personality) are being lined up for various nights. Advertising and promotion plans for the event are in full swing, and ANA treasurer Ann Limbaugh showed an early draft print of the event poster.
MORE SUMMER EVENTS:
- 4th OF JULY KIDS PARADE: As reported by WSB previously, the annual “kiddie parade” in north Admiral is a “go” for the morning of July 4th 2012. ANA is responsible for the ever-popular concession stand at the event (popsicles!), and the group is still considering a request from longtime organizer Sherri Chun to take over the event planning in its entirely for 2013 and beyond.
- WEST SEATTLE SUMMER FEST: Details are coming together for next month’s big street party in the Alaska Junction (July 13th-15th), and ANA will be tabling at the event in the central information booth.
- WEST SEATTLE GRAND PARADE: West Seattle’s biggest parade is on for July 21st, and ANA is considering marching as a group (the Admiral merchants’ group is already planning to march as well).
- ADOPT-A-STREET: Last week’s cleanup event was deemed successful, and similar upcoming Saturday cleanups are scheduled for September 8th and December 8th.
- BLOCK WATCH CAPTAIN’S PARTY: Scheduled for June 22nd at 6pm (details here) with Mayor McGinn and area SPD officers, with dinner and entertainment. (RSVP here)
47th & ADMIRAL PEDESTRIAN SIGNAL UPDATE: Walum read aloud from some recent e-mail exchanges she has had with SDOT regarding ANA’s longtime efforts to have a pedestrian signal installed at the troublesome intersection of 47th & Admiral. Unfortunately, the project has actually dropped one spot on SDOT’s citywide priority list (now 12th of 13 projects) and Walum said she is now being advised by SDOT to instead seek Neighborhood Project Fund money for the project — despite the fact that she was advised three years ago that obtaining such funding wouldn’t be feasible. Walum expressed frustration about the time that has been lost because of miscommunication during the past six years, and now she’ll work with ANA vice president Karl de Jong to find out from SDOT how much signal will cost and to work on their own grant proposal. Anyone interested in assisting with this effort should contact email@example.com.
Sadow added that although she fully supports a pedestrian signal (she lives nearby), she and her fellow neighbors are also interested in establishing some roundabouts or other methods on nearby streets to discourage speeding Alki traffic. Attendees agreed with Sadow that more information about the possible traffic effects of a pedestrian signal would be good.
De Jong also reported that the supply of orange pedestrian flags for that intersection has run out (neighbors and businesses such as Alki Mail and Dispatch had previously purchased several dozen flags, but people keep taking them away). Kirk Mead and other attendees expressed interest and intent to fund more flags, but the group agreed that a larger solution might be required. Other attendees noted that at the 59th & Admiral crossing may have only one flag left.
HISTORIC STATUS FOR CALIFORNIA AVENUE?: We’ll continue to check into the progress of this effort, but ANA vice president Karl de Jong gave a brief update on some intriguing recent discussions to potentially seek historic protection status for a large section of California Avenue. Similar to the status that was successfully granted to many historic buildings in Pioneer Square (which were all built at around the same time), the key is that the protected area must be defined around a unifying theme. For West Seattle, the idea is that the California Ave. corridor was once the backbone for a trolley car line in West Seattle (stretching from near Admiral Congregational Church to the north all the way to the current Endolyne Joe’s site to the south, with “the junctions” of Admiral/Alaska/Morgan in between) . West Seattle neighborhood advocate Chas Redmond is going to look into the idea, in cooperation with WS architect Brandon Nicholson (who has been involved with similar discussions about California Ave. in the past) and other interested stakeholders.
GETTING THINGS DONE: Meeting attendees spent time talking about ways to foster a strong community spirit in Admiral and getting more people involved (“More potlucks!” Walum half-joked). Mead and others agreed that there is real power in individual community groups banding together to co-present at city meetings or co-author letters asking for change, rather than doing it in a one-off manner. “Not just one neighbor, but 3 entire ZIP codes moving as one,” said de Jong. Negative events like last month’s murder/suicide tragedy that ended in West Seattle are a factor in getting neighbors talking, but ANA members agreed that positive events like the Hiawatha concerts and Admiral trick-or-treating are an effective and proven way to unify neighbors. De Jong and other ANA members agreed to continue ”talking through how we can do better” and thinking about new ways to bring neighbors in.
WEST SEATTLE HELPLINE: ANA members encouraged attendees to continue supporting the Helpline organization, for the great work they do. Diane Vincent offered a tip/reminder that when you pay your car tab fee, you should watch for a yellow slip of paper that has a box you can check to request that free Metro bus tickets sent to you, which you can then donate to the Helpline (which in turn regularly hands out bus tickets to those in need).
The Admiral Neighborhood Association meets on second Tuesdays, 7 pm, at Admiral Congregational Church. Next meeting is Tuesday July 10th.
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