West Seattle, Washington
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Tonight brought first word of the draft recommendations for what to do with the Myers Way Parcels, 30+ acres of city-owned land on the southeast edge of West Seattle.
The draft was unveiled at tonight’s Highland Park Action Committee meeting by the two city Finance and Administrative Services managers who led a tour of the site two weeks ago, organized by City Councilmember Lisa Herbold for community members (WSB coverage here).
During the tour, FAS’s Hillary Hamilton and Michael Ashbrook (left-center and right in the photo above) said they were close to finishing the draft. And now – it’s ready. They came to the HPAC meeting with a one-sheet that’s not available online yet (today’s downtown power outage set them back a bit) – here’s our transcription of the “draft property recommendations”:
The draft recommendation includes a balance of planning for future City needs, financial consideration of the outstanding loans on the property and enhancement or preservation of natural spaces:
*The property immediately south of the JTF (9401 Myers Way S)
This property is proposed to be used for a future expansion of parking and training areas at the JTF. Within 15 years, City will need to relocate city parking uses at the Arrowhead Gardens Apartments. Other training needs, such as driver-safety training and trench safety, have been identified.
*The properties south of Roxbury Street and north of the City Light Right of Way (9501 Myers Way S)
This property is proposed to be sold at fair-market value. It could be sold through a negotiated sale with a developer that supports community needs such as job creation or mixed-use activities. The property could be marketed with the use of a real-estate broker to facilitate a sale for such purposes while assuring appropriate financial compensation to the City.
*The properties south of the Seattle City Light Right of way and east of Myers Way (9600 and 9701 Myers Way S)
FAS will identify a purchaser who will preserve and enhance the natural environment of the property and complete a negotiated sale. Examples may include a land trust foundation that would permit public access for recreation and education, an adventure-park operator that would preserve trees and allow public access, or a commercial developer that would preserve or enhance the natural areas. If a sale is not completed within two years, then the property is proposed to be transferred to the Seattle Parks Department for green space. Parks would consider what level of public access would be suitable through their own processes and budget.
Hamilton noted that this is a big change from only a year or so ago, when “our idea was probably ‘let’s sell everything’,” but they heard community opposition to that.
With affordable housing something the city is very interested in helping create, Hamilton acknowledged questions about why this site wouldn’t be quickly earmarked for that. She explained that the “pink” heart of the site – the part proposed for selling for commercial uses – is the most buildable but not necessarily for housing because of cement-kiln dust contamination left over from fill brought to the site decades ago. The city’s affordable-housing experts “looked really hard” at it, she said, but along with the contamination, it also would require roads, sewers, electricity, and drainage, all of which would cost a lot. Sales of any part of the parcels is instead supposed to generate some income, not drain the city coffers. The new one-sheet includes some financials related to the land – saying it’s appraised at $14 million, and that “potential sales proceeds” would have to go toward:
-$1.3 million “outstanding balance on the loan used to purchase the property” (in 2003)
-$5 million “to pay interfund loan to assist homelessness” (as decreed by Mayor Murray last November)
-$500,000 “to reimburse the Dept. of Finance and Admin. Services for consultants and holding costs”
Elaborating on the greenspace potential in the southernmost section, Hamilton said the intention would be to “save the tree canopy” – and she mentioned that could be achievable in one of several ways, including the newly emerged adventure-park idea that is “newly on the table” (here’s our recent story about it). She summarized, “We see the blue area as somewhere that the trees would always be protected, one way or another.”
Subsequent concerns that came up at the HPAC meeting – which included attendees from the neighboring unincorporated Highline area too – included parts of the property currently being used by homeless campers, and the need for more transit in the area.
The FAS reps stress that the comment period is still open and people are welcome to say whatever they think should be done with the area, as well as what should be done with the money that would be brought in by selling any part of it.
Along with accepting comments in writing, they’re working on an event June 30th at the JTF, likely “an evening meeting where we’re going to talk some more” about the proposal, and listen to community comments. (That idea came up during the aforementioned tour.)
After they’ve gathered comments on these draft recommendations, a final recommendation will be drafted in the form that would have to be approved by the City Council. That, they expect, will happen in midsummer; then the legislation would go to the council for a vote in September, under the projected timeline.
We’ll update this story Thursday when we get digital copies of what was handed out tonight, and any other information/reaction.
7:21 PM: A big emergency response is headed to the 6000 block of High Point Drive for an “assault with weapons” call. We’re headed there to find out more; updates to come.
7:38 PM: Seattle Fire has dispatched a chaplain; indications so far at the scene are that this might be a self-inflicted gunshot wound. SPD described the victim on Twitter as “a teen.”
7:42 PM: Southwest Precinct Operations Lt. Ron Smith confirms that, and says the victim did not survive.
8:27 AM THURSDAY: SPD’s Det. Patrick Michaud confirms this morning that police believe the shot was accidentally fired. Final ruling will be up to the Medical Examiner, as always. The victim was a 17-year-old boy.
Car prowls, car prowls, car prowls – that’s what Southwest Precinct Operations Lt. Ron Smith just told the Highland Park Action Committee is that neighborhood’s biggest crime problem – like most other West Seattle neighborhoods: 145 in this area so far this year, compared to 46 in the same period last year. HP’s Westcrest Park is a hot spot, though not as much as Lincoln Park; Lt. Smith hailed the vigilant citizens who have stepped up keeping eyes on the park, and he encouraged people to keep reporting them, even if nothing was taken: “We need to report these crimes,” even if that means a jump in stats because more people are reporting what happens.
Also up this year over last: Robberies, especially along the southernmost boundary of Highland Park (SW Roxbury) – about a fourth of them were “shoplifting (incidents) gone bad.” Residential burglary is happening at about the same rate has last year, and “we’ve arrested one prolific burglar/car prowler recently, so hopefully we’ll see a reduction,” Lt. Smith noted, adding that non-residential burglary is down by more than half.
Still to come at HPAC, in our next report – city reps are here with their draft recommendation for what should be done with the city-owned Myers Way Parcels; we’ll have the details later tonight.
4:48 PM: That big drill we mentioned yesterday, with air and sea action off West Seattle, is ramping up right now. If you missed the advance alert, it would look pretty alarming, given that the intent is “to test and solidify the capabilities of the Regional Maritime Tactical Action Group in response to an active shooter or hostage type event aboard a vessel in the Puget Sound”:
The King County Sheriff’s Office Special Operations Section invited media to go out on the Water Taxi vessel Sally Fox to observe and photograph, and co-publisher Patrick Sand is there for WSB.
5:28 PM: KCSO just tweeted this video of officers boarding the boat via helicopter:
If the ferry line is too long this Memorial Day weekend, try getting on this way pic.twitter.com/1PmfR5iqVM
— KingcosoPIO (@kingcosoPIO) May 26, 2016
Our photo is a different view from below, while that was in the works:
11 PM: The drill was expected to go at least until now, and MarineTraffic.com shows the Sally Fox is still out there. David Hutchinson shares an afternoon view from Jack Block Park:
That’s where media crews went after the briefing at T-5 that started the observation period. T-5 was headquarters for the helicopters, both KCSO’s Guardian One, the same helicopter that shows up to help Seattle Police with searches sometimes:
And a U.S. Customs and Border Protection helicopter:
That agency had a boat, too:
See more photos after the jump:
Thanks to Chief Sealth International High School assistant principal Scott Reisinger for sharing the report and photo:
We are excited to announce that Eun Tae Ki and Richard Nguyen, both seniors at Chief Sealth International High School, have been selected to participate in the 2016 Young Scholars Program at the Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering at the University of Washington this summer. Eun Tae and Richard were two of nine total students that were chosen from an applicant pool of more than 160. This program will expose these scholars to the cutting-edge field of sensorimotor neural engineering and allow them to participate in ongoing research projects. Eun Tae and Richard will be working with Dr. Rajesh Rao, University of Washington Department of Computer Science & Engineering, to research the brains ability to learn, process, and store information.
The West Seattle Booster Club would like to congratulate all of the student athletes and wish all of the students competing in state this week the best of luck. It is an exciting week at the high school, with almost 40 athletes competing in the State Championships, including the Girls Softball Team, ten Boys and Girls Track athletes, the Unified Soccer Team, and two Golfers.
While this is great, it is also comes with a large price tag for the school – almost $4,000 for hotels, food, and transportation. The Seattle School District does not provide enough money to the schools to cover even the basic needs for the athletic programs (uniforms, equipment, etc), so there is definitely not enough to cover post season costs.
Our parents and families have been very generous in helping in so many ways, but there is still a large deficit. If you would like to help West Seattle High School Athletics cover the costs, you can make a tax-deductible donation via the West Seattle Booster Club. Every little bit will help these student athletes.
We want to thank the West Seattle community for their continued support of the students and staff at West Seattle High School. Go Wildcats!
And the club has an event coming up one week from tomorrow:
The West Seattle Booster Club invites you to participate in its Spirits for Sports 2016, a fundraising event in the Alaska Junction on Thursday, June 2 from 6-9 pm. All proceeds support the West Seattle High School athletic programs. For more information and to register, go here.
Denny International Middle School principal Jeff Clark just shared this note sent to families:
Good Afternoon Denny and Sealth Families,
This morning at approximately 10:45 am, a Denny scholar was walking to school. When she was on Kenyon near the school bus zone entrance, the driver of a black Prius asked her to get in the car. She came right in to school and reported it. School staff contacted the Seattle Police Department, who responded very quickly. Scholars have been informed about the description of the car and reminded of safe walking procedures. We will have extra supervision in that area.
Denny and Chief Sealth Administration
He also asked us to share this message:
Our School Messenger email system sends out email notices automatically to all family email addresses in our system. If any Denny or Sealth family is not receiving the email, please call the school main office. We can confirm that we have your correct and current email address and can tell you if your email system is blocking our email, preventing you from receiving it. Thank you.
P.S. Thanks also to the Denny/Sealth parents who forwarded the top note (moments after the principal sent it out) to make sure we’d received it.
Gunfire and car prowls are West Seattle’s two biggest crime problems right now, police told the WS Block Watch Captains Network last night. And that’s what’s in our Crime Watch roundup this afternoon:
GUNFIRE NEAR LINCOLN PARK: A resident near the bottom of the Thistle stairway just east of Lincoln Park asked us this morning about gunshots overnight. On Tweets by Beat (which you can review any time on our Crime Watch page), the classification was “person with a gun.” We obtained the police-report narrative, which says officers checked out the reported gunfire after multiple 911 calls around quarter past 2, and found eight shell casings in the intersection of 46th SW/SW Thistle [map] – which is at the bottom of the aforementioned stairway. One caller heard a vehicle “speeding away northbound”; another saw “two males running through (a) backyard,” but there were no signs of property damage, and no gunshot victim(s) turned up anywhere. The police report says, “The shell casings were all marked GFL (Giulio Fiocchi) 9mm Luger.”
CAR PROWL NEAR GATEWOOD ELEMENTARY: From Sarah:
Our car, the one my 17-year-old son drives (an old 2000 Volvo station wagon) was broken into last night and two valuable items stolen. They smashed the rear passenger side cargo window.
The items stolen were very special to him. A Gibson Les Paul guitar with a purple paisley strap, and a Fender Twin Reverb Amp (’68 Custom). I’ve attached stock images of the items.
He’s learned a painful and expensive lesson: never leave valuables in the car!
And just as we were about to publish this report with the two items above, this came in:
JUNCTION CAR BREAK-INS: From Stacy:
Just an FYI – When I arrived at LA Fitness yesterday around 5:45 pm, there was a cop investigating the parking lot as at least three car windows were smashed and broken into. He was walking around telling everyone who parked what had just happened but since so many people work out there at different times- wanted to share with you guys to hopefully share with everyone. Remember if there is nothing in your car to steal, they won’t break in (coming from someone who had her car broken into no less than 3 times on the East Coast).
Advice from police modifies that somewhat – make sure it doesn’t even LOOK like something might be in the car (we’ve heard of car prowlers going through grocery bags that might have contained something).
11:51 AM: In case you are heading downtown sometime soon – you should know about a big power outage in the heart of downtown. It’s not even on the Seattle City Light map, but they’re definitely aware of it. SCL attributes it to “equipment failure at Massachusetts Street Substation” and says it might take “a couple hours” to fix. We know lots of West Seattleites work downtown – is this affecting you?
12:07 PM: Someone in comments asked if there are any West Seattle effects; not that we have heard. The substation mentioned by SCL is in SODO (shown on this map). Meantime, they’ve moved up the guesstimate for restoration to 12:40 pm.
12:17 PM: While this mega-outage is NOT shown on the Seattle City Light map, SDOT has come up with one based on the boundaries that have been announced:
All power is lost in the following area. Waterfront to I-5, and Pike to Jackson. Treat all signals as all ways stops pic.twitter.com/79O5KByFmp
— seattledot (@seattledot) May 25, 2016
12:20 PM: We’re listening to officers downtown via scanner, as they assist with traffic control downtown, and they’re saying some intersections have power back – a couple mentioned on 5th – but a few blocks away, they’re still out. Also, Councilmember Kshama Sawant – who chairs the council committee that oversees SCL – tweeted that City Hall (5th/Cherry/4th/James) has power back.
12:26 PM: More restoration – SPD channel indicates lights on 3rd are working.
12:34 PM: SCL has officially declared power back on (while saying they don’t know yet what caused it). West Seattleites in the city’s Municipal Tower and the county’s Chinook Building – not far apart – confirm they’re back on. But downtown will likely have lingering effects throughout the afternoon.
12:48 PM: City Light says it doesn’t know yet how many customers (businesses/homes, in this case apartments/condos) were affected, but “12,000 meters” were in the outage zone.
Seattle Public Utilities says it will be repairing a sewer line along 35th SW between Juneau and Raymond starting next Tuesday (May 31st). The flyer it’s circulating in the area says, “The mainline at this location is damaged and requires replacement. Homes and businesses will continue to receive normal service during the repair.” They expect the work, at five spots on the line (shown above), to take about two weeks, with crews there 7 am-4 pm weekdays. While service will continue, there will be mobility effects, including parking restrictions, limited access to driveways during construction work hours, and the closure of “the center two lanes of 35th SW” while the work is under way.
Today’s spotlight photo is courtesy of Don Brubeck, who explains, “Bike riders were detouring around some heavy traffic at Terminal 18 (Tuesday) afternoon. Did not hear any honking.” Whether you’re going by bike, bus, car, feet … or wings! … here are half a dozen highlights for the rest of today/tonight, from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
ENTREPRENEUR MEETUP: Got your own business, or working on an idea for one? Join today’s Entrepreneur Meetup, noon-1:15 pm, at West Seattle Office Junction (WSB sponsor). Just drop in, and bring your lunch if you want to. (6040 California SW)
VIETNAMESE COMMUNITY TEA TIME: 1-3 pm at Greenbridge Community Center. Host Tram Chung says, “Please come to meet with friends, exchange information, storytelling, entertainment, singing, and planning for the future meetings. We can help with language support (translation/interpreter) or settle the bills such as electricity, water, cable TV, internet.” (9800 8th SW)
COMMUNITY WELLNESS AND PREVENTION INITIATIVE COALITION: 7 pm at Neighborhood House’s High Point Center, be part of the first meeting of this new coalition meant to help prevent youth substance abuse, as explained in our calendar listing. (6400 Sylvan Way SW)
HIGHLAND PARK ACTION COMMITTEE: 7 pm at Highland Park Improvement Club, with the agenda including a discussion of what’s next in the process of determining the Myers Way Parcels’ future (recent WSB coverage here and here), and info on what the Department of Neighborhoods is all about. (12th SW/SW Holden)
POEMS AND STORIES: 7 pm at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), the monthly Poetrybridge event features readings by Georgie Bright Kunkel and Cheryl Latif, as well as a community microphone. (5612 California SW)
During our periodic check of court files in cases we’re following, we just found out that a West Seattleite arrested and charged with murder in a shooting death near Sea-Tac has pleaded guilty to a reduced charge. We reported in December on the arrest of 39-year-old Aaron Parypa at his Junction-area home; he was subsequently charged with second-degree murder and first-degree assault for a deadly shooting in October that prosecutors said was preceded by an attempted marijuana sale. According to court documents, Parypa, who had no previous criminal history, pleaded guilty last Friday to the reduced charge of second-degree manslaughter. In a written statement accompanying his plea, he wrote, “Although I do not believe I am guilty of manslaughter because I acted in self-defense, I want to plead guilty to the charge to take advantage of the reduction of the charge and the prosecutor’s recommendation.” The same document lists the standard sentencing range as 21 to 27 months.
In case you haven’t yet seen them in the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar, two Memorial Day notes:
(2015 WSB photo)
JUNCTION FLAG HELP: Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2713 welcomes community assistance in putting up and taking down the West Seattle Junction’s U.S. flags on Monday. Meet at California/Alaska, in front of Cupcake Royale, at 8:50 am for flag placement, 4:50 pm for flag removal.
FOREST LAWN CEREMONY: At 2 pm on Monday, American Legion Post 160 and community partners will present the traditional annual Memorial Day ceremony at Forest Lawn (WSB sponsor) in High Point (map); all welcome.
(2014 WSB photo)
Right afterward, you’re invited to a 3:30 pm reception at Post 160 HQ in The Triangle (3618 SW Alaska).
(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)
6:33 AM: Good morning! Two reminders for your Wednesday:
FILMING ON THE VIADUCT: Two more days – today and tomorrow – of scheduled filming resulting in “rolling slowdowns” on the Alaskan Way Viaduct between 9 am and 3 pm.
BRIDGE CLOSURE TONIGHT: The second week of the Fauntleroy Expressway seismic-cushion-re-replacement work continues, with the west end of the bridge scheduled for closure 9 pm-5 am again tonight.
8:10 AM: Yes, we’ve been watching and listening; things are still quiet! Reminder that if you see something potentially of note for your fellow commuters – tips are appreciated – IF you are a passenger; otherwise, once you get to your destination. Text or call us 24/7 at 206-293-6302.
1:57 PM: Two Memorial Day notes have come in since the morning commute:
-NO bridge closures Sunday or Monday nights because of the holiday.
-The West Seattle Water Taxi will run on a Sunday schedule on Memorial Day (Monday).