West Seattle, Washington
11:29 PM: Thanks to Clark for the photo. A multiple-car crash – Clark says he counted three – has been blocking northbound 35th SW near Hudson, in the Camp Long area. No major injuries reported but police were reported to be searching – with a K-9 – for a driver who was reported to have walked away from the crash. And nearby resident Karen says northbound traffic has been diverting to 36th.
1:29 AM: The detour’s over, Karen reports, so we’re deducing that 35th is clear.
Following up on our Friday report about West Seattle High School senior Gabby Carufel swimming the 100-meter backstroke at this weekend’s 3A state tournament: She finished second, with a time of 58.24. So what’s next? We asked her mom Danette Carufel, who replied that Gabby “swims for King Aquatic Club as well as high school. She will continue to swim for them and plans to swim in college. Which college is yet to be determined.”
When the School Board meets next Wednesday, for the last time before its four new members – including West Seattleite Leslie Harris – are sworn in, the agenda includes three topics we’ve been watching. We’re previewing it tonight because if you want to speak during the public-comment period, you have to sign up by phone or e-mail first thing tomorrow morning, and spaces often go fast.
SCHEDULE CHANGES: Earlier this month, the board delayed action on changing “bell times” (start/end schedules) until the November 18th meeting. Here’s the final proposal. The 9:35 am start times for Lafayette Elementary and Louisa Boren K-5 STEM, as part of “Tier 3,” are still in the plan, despite some opposition.
$475 MILLION BTA IV LEVY FOR FEBRUARY: On February 9th, the district will have two levies on the ballot (here’s our coverage of the September public meeting about both). The first one, the Operations Levy, which provides a fourth of the district’s budget, has already received board approval. On Wednesday, the final draft of the Buildings, Technology, Academics/Athletics Levy, aka BTA IV, will go to the board – $475 million, up from $270 million for the last version of the same levy. Here are the West Seattle specifics:
*$6.7 million for EC Hughes upgrades to enable it to reopen as a 550-student elementary school (to which, the district has said, it will move the Roxhill Elementary program)
*5.4 million for Gatewood Elementary, most of that for HVAC, also some $ for cladding work
*1.8 million for athletic-field lights at Southwest Athletic Complex (ID’d in the documents as Chief Sealth IHS, which is across the street)
*$1.5 million for the roof at West Seattle HS
*94,000 for doors at Sanislo Elementary
ASSIGNMENT PLAN: The changes made at the last minute before what was to be a vote earlier this month – including the abolition of the summer/fall waitlist and the “distance” tiebreaker – will be brought back for a vote.
IF YOU WANT TO GET ON THE PUBLIC-COMMENT LIST for Wednesday’s meeting, here are the rules. In short, starting at 8 am tomorrow, here’s what to do:
To sign up for public testimony, members of the public should e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 206-252-0040 and give their legal name, telephone number, e-mail address, and the topic they would like to address.
You might have seen and/or heard those two military helicopters headed eastbound over south West Seattle – and then over east West Seattle – late this afternoon. While a flyby wasn’t listed as part of it, this is Military Appreciation/“Salute to Service” night at the Seahawks vs. Cardinals game. Meantime, it’s also an opportunity to remind you one more time about the helicopter exercises scheduled at Terminal 5 at midday tomorrow.
(Added: Golden Sunday afternoon – photo by Lynn Hall)
Definitely the calm between the storms right now – and this might be your best chance to go do some cleaning and inspecting before the next round, because the National Weather Service has announced a High Wind Watch for Tuesday – read the whole thing here. While there’s always a chance it won’t happen, if it DOES, it could be serious, warns the NWS: “Possible south winds 35 to 45 mph with gusts 65 to 75 mph Tuesday, shifting to the west late Tuesday afternoon.” Trees are more at risk of toppling than in previous storms because four inches of rain in the past three days has softened the ground. Updates to come!
Looking for something to do before The Game? Head over to the second annual “Sip & Shop” holiday bazaar at St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church in Admiral. It’s on until 5 pm. In the photo are Brooke Vaughey and Emily Paulson, who shared the photo shortly after Sip (wine!) & Shop got under way. All ages welcome; no admission charge; 3050 California SW. (This was featured in our newly launched West Seattle Holiday Guide – send us your event ASAP – email@example.com – thanks!)
While chainsaws are certainly busy around the city during this break between tree-toppling storms, some tree-cutting in West Seattle this morning had nothing to do with the weather. We learned about it via this video tweet:
— NLB (@g7on) November 15, 2015
Twitter user @n7gon noticed the tree-cutting on the site of the proposed mixed-use project at 4532 42nd SW and asked us about it. You might recall our report about the latest Southwest Design Review Board meeting related to that site – at which board members told the development team to design the project around one particular tree, though the owner-developers had received an opinion that the tree fell short of being what the city considered “exceptional.” They said keeping the tree would present challenges including fewer units and fewer offstreet-parking spaces. They also said that the tree would likely die when the site north of theirs is redeveloped, a site under different ownership, currently holding a single-family house but zoned, as is most of that area, for something much bigger.
Now the tree’s gone (along with others on the site). Nothing in the project’s online files indicated tree-cutting was imminent, so after hearing about it, we went over to see if anyone was still there.
We didn’t find anyone on site, so we e-mailed the property’s owner/developer, West Seattleite Mark Braseth, to ask for comment. He replied with this:
To whom it may concern,
The City of Seattle only regulates exceptional trees on private property over 30 inches in diameter, and limits tree removal on commercially-zoned, privately-owned sites to no more than three trees larger than six inches in diameter within a single year. The City determined that all trees on site were non-exceptional (under 30 inches in diameter), and therefore the three trees taken were allowed to be removed without a permit. The City requires that any new development replace the previously-existing tree canopy with the same or equal amount of tree canopy cover, upon the new trees’ maturity.
As a family development company with long-term roots in the West Seattle community, we are excited to develop this property into something that we can own and be proud of for a long time. We understand that trees are important to the community, and they are important to our project design. We are working with our architects and landscape architect to design a building that includes mature landscaping and large trees that the public can enjoy for the long term future.
The city’s tree policy is here.
Back in 2009, under different ownership, the site was approved for a different development that stalled. Braseth bought it earlier this year and brought forth a different proposal which as of last week’s meeting was penciled in as 6-stories, ~75 apartments, 3,813 sq.ft. of commercial space, and offstreet parking for ~63 vehicles (though the site is in a “frequent transit” zone with no requirement for any offstreet parking). One structure on the site was demolished in 2008; the one that remains will be torn down for this project.
8:03 AM: Multiple texters report road flooding has closed Orchard at Delridge. We’ll be checking on it shortly.
10:06 AM: We’ve since learned from Seattle Public Utilities spokesperson Ingrid Goodwin that this is a sewage overflow:
Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) has responded this morning to a sewage overflow in West Seattle at Delridge Way SW and SW Orchard Street. The sewage is discharging north on Delridge to SW Myrtle Street and eventually overflowing into Longfellow Creek. SPU crews have posted signs alerting residents to stay out of the water, which may be contaminated. Orchard Street near Delridge Way is closed while spill response and drainage and wastewater crews contain the overflow and begin the clean-up. The volume of the spill is unknown at this time.
This is primarily happening on the east and north sides of the Delridge/Orchard intersection. You might recall that SPU worked in recent months on what was supposed to be a combined-sewer-overflow-control project, so we’ll be following up to see what went wrong.
9:36 PM: While Orchard east of Delridge was still closed in late afternoon, it’s now open, but narrowed – one lane each way, with an area blocked off at curbside on the westbound side for a short distance. No crews on scene now so we’d have to guess this will continue into the morning commute; we’ll check back by 7 am or so.
HOLIDAY SIP ‘N’ SHOP: Second annual event to jump-start your holiday shopping, with local vendors (see the list here), 2-5 pm at St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church. Snacks and beverages; no admission charge; children welcome. (3050 California SW)
And from our regular year-round West Seattle Event Calendar:
WEST SEATTLE FARMERS’ MARKET: 10 am-2 pm, go see what’s fresh! (California SW between Oregon and Alaska)
JAMTIME: Live music at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 1-4 pm. (5612 California SW)
IMMIGRATION REFORM/LIVING WAGE PANEL DISCUSSION: 4:30 pm at ArtsWest Playhouse, right after the 3 pm matinee of “My Mañana Comes.” No admission charge for the discussion, but you’re encouraged to RSVP by going here. (4711 California SW)
FYI – SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: 5:30 pm at CenturyLink Field, the Seahawks host Arizona. No Water Taxi service – the foot ferry is three weeks into its winter schedule, which is Mondays-Fridays only, no special-event service.
2:23 AM: Some West Seattleites saw one or more flashes and heard booms about the time more than 4,300 homes and businesses lost power south of here – parts of White Center, Shorewood, Boulevard Park, also a pocket of the southeastern edge of WS at Olson/Myers. We’re covering it on partner site White Center Now but thought we’d mention it here too, because of the sights and sounds. No official word on the cause yet but Seattle City Light says crews are headed toward its Duwamish Substation.
3:39 PM: Most have been back on for some time but City Light spokesperson Scott Thomsen says about 10 percent of those originally affected remain out – he also updated us on the cause: “A tree fell into wires, which caused a fault current that was big enough that it damaged some of the wire. So crews have been working to replace the damaged wire. There are about 450 customers still out. We estimate having them back in service around 4:15 pm.”