West Seattle, Washington
Three West Seattle Crime Watch notes tonight. First one’s a followup, from Sarah:
Remember the Gibson guitar and Fender amp that were stolen out of my son’s car? They were recovered by the police after the robber tried to sell them this week at a Capitol Hill pawn shop! We had serial numbers that we had given to the police pawn shop squad (a very important step: make sure that happens so that they alert pawn shops). We are very happy and relieved! The broken car window was a $50 deductible, but all things considered, a good outcome to what had been a very no-good bad-day two weeks ago.
Second, recognize this potentially stolen-and-abandoned bicycle? Amy sent the photo:
She says it’s been parked on a sidewalk near EC Hughes Playground, and that it has a broken chain. If you recognize it, let us know – comments or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Third and final, a new round of safety advice from SPD, in the latest newsletter from Crime Prevention Coordinator Mark Solomon. Read it here as a two-page PDF.
(T-5, empty since summer 2014, in center of 2015 photo by Peter West Carey)
We went to tonight’s Terminal 5 Improvements Project Draft Environmental Impact Statement public hearing in Georgetown mostly to find out the format so you know what to expect at the one in West Seattle on Thursday night.
So you can plan, here’s the format:
5-6 pm, open house
6 pm, presentation, including project background and information on the environmental-review process
6:30 pm, opportunity for attendees to ask “clarifying questions”
6:45 pm until 8 pm (depending on how many speakers), public hearing
8-8:30 pm, open house
Spanish and Vietnamese interpreters were available.
After a welcome by Port Commissioner Fred Felleman, an overview of the “project purpose” was offered, showing that while the current T-5 (which has been closed to cargo for two years now) is set for 136′ maximum ship width, the largest ships out there now go to 193′, and that’s why they need to make it “big-ship ready.”
The project is sponsored by the Port of Seattle and the Northwest Seaport Alliance – its partnership with Tacoma – but Seattle is the lead agency and responsible for the environmental review, which it originally wasn’t going to do – then, after considerable citizen urging, it changed its mind, saying it had discovered that the project was likely to be big enough to mandate one anyway.
As you’ll see in the DEIS, three alternatives are reviewed: Read More
4:54 PM: Eight months after kicking her boyfriend’s toddler son to death in their Morgan Junction apartment, 21-year-old Alicia Goemaat pleaded guilty today to second-degree murder. We just found that out after checking court files. Goemaat was arrested less than a week after 17-month-old Drue Lehto was found dead; investigators say she kicked him and then placed him in his crib, where he was found. She eventually was reported to have said she was mad at Drue for fighting with her own young child over a toy. Second-degree murder is the charge originally filed against Goemaat last fall; we have no other details of today’s hearing but will update with anything more we find out. Her sentencing is set for July 8th.
6:18 PM: We now have information from KCPAO spokesperson Dan Donohoe regarding the sentencing recommendation: “The sentence range is 123 to 220 months in prison, and prosecutors will recommend 140 months.” (That’s 11 years, 8 months.)
(Map from July 2015 slide deck about 35th SW plan)
When last we checked in on the 35th Avenue SW Corridor Safety Project – which changed the configuration of lanes on 35th, from Roxbury to just south of Morgan, last fall – SDOT’s Jim Curtin told WSB that the plan for Phase 2, and stats on Phase 1, were expected to be out in May. That month has come and gone; we checked in again today to ask where things stand. Curtin’s reply:
We’ve adjusted our schedule to coordinate outreach with another SDOT effort that may have implications for 35th Avenue SW – the West Seattle Neighborhood Greenway. As you know, greenways are safer, calmer non-arterial streets prioritized for people walking and biking. We need residents to help us determine the best route for the greenway as well as locations for crossing improvements (the routes identified in the BMP are merely suggestions).
We’re aiming for the week of July 11th or 18th for our first meeting, where we’ll share preliminary data for Phase 1 of the 35th Avenue SW project, start the discussion about the Neighborhood Greenway route, share draft plans for Phase 2 of the 35th Ave SW project, and solicit feedback from residents. We also intend to host walking tours like we did for Phase 1 in August.
As a community-collaborative news organization, we cover many things that start with tips, questions, or other messages. Our followup with Curtin today was inspired by a note from Bob Neel. You might know him as an opponent of the rechannelization; he launched a Change.org petition against it last year. Today, he e-mailed both to wonder about the status of Phase 2 and to ask if we would publish the links to two new petitions he’s started. While there is no way for any online poll or petition to be anything resembling scientific (that’s why we don’t set up our own), he’s interested in comparing results from pro and con petitions.
He writes: “For those who like the lane reduction, here is a petition for SDOT to extend the project. For those who are not in favor of the lane reduction, here is a petition for SDOT to go back to 4 lanes. I have attempted to word each petition in a balanced, neutral way so that there is no inherent bias. I’d really like to see a large response to these petitions so that we can get a representative ‘pulse’ of the neighborhood reaction to the project.”
(If you do choose to sign one – or even if you don’t – consider commenting here to say why!)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
It’s now up to the state Court of Appeals to decide whether to uphold the manslaughter conviction of Lovett Chambers for shooting and killing Travis Hood by Morgan Junction Park in January 2012.
Three Court of Appeals, Division 1 judges and two lawyers – neither of whom were on the original defense/prosecution teams – spent 21 minutes on the case in the COA’s Downtown Seattle chambers this morning.
Chambers was charged with murder while contending self-defense; a King County Superior Court jury found him guilty of the lesser charge of first-degree manslaughter in April 2014 (during which the file photo at left was taken – he was not at today’s hearing), and he is serving an 11 1/2-year sentence.
While his appeal brief (read it here) argues seven points, this morning’s arguments focused on just the first one: The claim that the jury should not have received an instruction about finding him guilty of manslaughter.
He shot to kill, his lawyer David B. Koch argued. Read More
Not all the summer traditions are outside in the sunshine. Just in case you hadn’t seen it in the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar, the third annual Swing Into Summer swing dance with the West Seattle Big Band @ The Hall at Fauntleroy is now just a week and a half away, on Friday, June 17th, sponsored by the West Seattle and Fauntleroy YMCA (WSB sponsor), Fauntleroy Church, and the Fauntleroy Community Association. Get your $15 ticket here, and then show up at 6:30 pm for a dance lesson, followed by dancing, listening, and spectating, 7-9 pm. Food and drink concessions will be available from DSquared. Free child care if you put in a request – 206-932-5600 or email@example.com.
(Click to see full-size PDF)
11:17 AM: For the first time since the city Finance and Administrative Services‘ “draft recommendations” about the Myers Way Parcels came out – May 25th, as first reported here – we’re hearing from the group that’s been the loudest voice for keeping the site as open space.
The Seattle Green Spaces Coalition calls FAS’s three-part recommendation (update – here’s the PDF summarizing it) “short-sighted,” saying that the city has been less than thorough in evaluating the site’s ecology and its value, and in reaching out to the community. Here’s its statement:
The 33 acres of Myers Parcels is the largest plot of undeveloped land that the City of Seattle owns. It provides a wide range of benefits for the City of Seattle, and people in the White Center, Highland Park, South Park, Roxbury, Delridge and Georgetown neighborhoods. The City’s Finance & Administrative Services (FAS) Department issued a formal Notice of Excess Property for a large area of Myers Parcels on January 15, 2016. But it only distributed notice to a limited number of people. Then on May 25, 2016, FAS presented its draft recommendation for disposing of Myers acreage at the Highland Park Action Committee meeting.
The Seattle Green Spaces Coalition (SGSC) finds the draft recommendation short-sighted, and calls on FAS to withdraw it. It also calls on FAS to significantly increase engagement with the affected neighborhoods, and to re-assess the Myers Parcels ecology.
The FAS Department’s top-down recommendation runs contrary to Mayor Murray’s Equity and Environmental Action Agenda, which call for grassroots, community-driven planning.
FAS recommends breaking up and selling off parts of Myers Parcels, before it has assessed the current value of this forested area, which contains a watershed with two streams that feed clean water into the Duwamish River.
SGSC is working with numerous individuals and community organizations, such as White Center Community Development Association (WCCDA), Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association and others, to demand robust community engagement, and clear strategies to promote environmental sustainability and social justice.
The FAS recommendation presents nothing new. It does not take into account any of the 400+ comments sent to FAS, nor the more than 800 signers on SGSC’s change.org petition calling for the City to stop the sale until communities are fully involved in the future of this site, and new environmental studies are conducted.
FAS recommends using part of the land immediately south of the Joint Training Facility for an expanded parking lot, selling the flat portion of the site for a commercial warehouse operation, and keeping the unmarketable wetlands and critical slope, with the addition of a possible adventure park on the critical slope above SR 509. FAS does not take into account that Myers Parcels holds origins of Hamm Creek, part of the most fragile link in Chinook Salmon Recovery, and within the Superfund Site of the first five miles of the Duwamish River. Its plan does not keep that watershed healthy, or help to restore the Duwamish River and promote salmon habitat. While we are spending millions of taxpayer dollars to clean up the Duwamish River, it makes no sense to jeopardize this watershed. As a city we should be improving it, not building warehouses around it.
The land has healthy, mature trees that filter water, retain storm water run-off, control erosion, clean the air and help keep the city cool. They create a green buffer for the communities of South Park and White Center. Decreasing the green buffer by selling it for warehouse operations will degrade air quality with increased car and truck pollution. Increased hardscape will also increase stormwater runoff. The inclusion of an adventure park can also potentially degrade the forest and wildlife habitat.
FAS’s recommendation to “slice and dice” this land, selling off parts of it, fails to recognize the land’s value as a whole. In a true “balance,” clean water and clear air would clearly win out over more warehouses that South Park and White Center do not need.
Seattle Green Spaces Coalition demands meaningful community engagement and a valuation of all the benefits this land does and can continue to provide. If we are going to live up to the commitment of the Equity & Environment Action Agenda and our Climate Action Plan, important questions must be answered:
· What is the most environmentally friendly use of the land?
· What is healthiest for the neighborhoods?
· What ecosystem services will the proposed uses provide or reduce?
· Will wildlife habitat be enhanced or reduced?
· Will it be of use and used by the diverse communities?
· What will its value be in the future for different uses?
· How broadly will the land serve diverse community and the City?
· How will it impact the watershed and recovery of the Duwamish River?
· What are the land’s unique features and role in the ecosystem?
· What will be the interplay of planned upland development of housing and the land?
· Who will benefit from commercial development?
· Would alternate uses such as fee activities benefit or exclude neighboring communities?
So far, over 850 people have signed Seattle Green Spaces Coalition’s online petition demanding a robust, transparent and inclusive community engagement so that all people can participate in the decision-making process.
The city’s webpage with information about the parcels is here. Two weeks before the draft report came out, we toured part of the site with FAS reps, community members, and City Councilmember Lisa Herbold – see that report here.
ADDED 12:49 PM: We checked back with FAS’s Hillary Hamilton, who provided electronic versions of the draft-recommendations map and summary, both of which you’ll now see above. She says a public meeting is still planned but that they’re not yet ready to finalize the announcement. Meantime, comments are still being taken, she reiterates:
Comments are taken continuously through the review process, and a full report of people’s names and comments will be provided to the City Council before any decision is made. People can send comments at any time; we will acknowledge receipt. Those who contact us can be sure to be on the mailing list for updates. Email or regular postal mail is encouraged to Daniel Bretzke, Real Estate Services, Dept. of Finance and Administrative Services. Email is Daniel.firstname.lastname@example.org. Postal address is Daniel Bretzke, FAS Real Estate Services, P.O. Box 94689, Seattle, WA 98124-4689.
(Violet-green swallow photographed by Mark Wangerin)
Happy Tuesday! Here are a half-dozen highlights from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
LOW-LOW TIDE, WITH BEACH NATURALISTS: One more day of a low-low tide, with sunshine, if you have the chance to get out on the shore and explore at midday. The tide will be out to -2.8 feet at 1:09 pm. Seattle Aquarium volunteer beach naturalists will be available at Constellation Park (south of Alki Point) and Lincoln Park (near Colman Pool) 10 am-2 pm.
TERMINAL 5 HEARING: If you have something to say about the Port of Seattle’s proposal to upgrade West Seattle’s Terminal 5 as its primary “big ship” terminal, tonight is your first of two chances during the “draft environmental impact statement” stage of the project. The public hearing is happening at the Georgetown campus of South Seattle College (WSB sponsor); another one is planned Thursday in West Seattle – information on both is here. (6737 Corson Ave. S.)
DINE OUT FOR HOPE: Coastline Burgers is donating part of tonight’s proceeds to the DC trip fund for nearby Hope Lutheran School during tonight’s dine-out fundraiser, 5-9 pm. Art sale, too! More info here. (4444 California SW)
INDOOR TENNIS IN WEST SEATTLE? 6-8 pm at Chief Sealth International High School, come hear about – and comment on – the proposal for an indoor-tennis center on the Seattle Public Schools-owned site that now holds outdoor courts just west of Southwest Pool. Organizer Lisa Corbin says the program will start around 6:15 pm and public comments will start around 7:15. Here’s a fact sheet about the project, and a document with FAQs. (2600 SW Thistle)
MORE! for today, tonight, beyond – just check our complete calendar.
7:54 AM: Seattle Fire is already scaling back what was a “full response” to a possible house fire in the 9000 block of 39th SW [map] – it’s reported to be a “small electrical fire” that’s already out.
8:05 AM: Our crew is at the scene and confirmed that description of what happened. Remaining fire crews are making one last check of the attic at the house to be sure nothing’s smoldering. No injuries.
(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)
6:30 AM: Good morning – no incidents in West Seattle or on the major outbound routes so far.
The west end of the West Seattle Bridge will be closed again tonight, 9 pm-5 am, as crews continue re-replacing Fauntleroy Expressway earthquake-safety cushions. Remember that on surface Spokane Street beneath the bridge, you might encounter daytime lane closures too, as setup work is done during the daytime.
6:59 AM: Still quiet. Another reminder: Tonight, 5-8:30 pm, is the first of two public hearings on the draft environmental-impact statement for the Port of Seattle’s proposed Terminal 5 project, at the Georgetown campus of South Seattle College (WSB sponsor).
8:48 AM: We’re on the bridge right now (publishing from the passenger seat, of course) on the way downtown for a court hearing, so a quick traffic report: Slowdown starts just before the crest. We’re headed for the 4th Avenue S. exit, our preferred way to get into downtown.