West Seattle, Washington
(Photo from 2015 PSBA Kids’ Day at West Seattle Bee Garden)
Remember the West Seattle Bee Festival back in May, a fun but damp day? If you’ve been looking for a reason to make a return trip to the West Seattle Bee Garden in High Point – this Saturday (with sunny, very warm weather expected) brings it! The Puget Sound Beekeepers Association is presenting Kids’ Day at the Bee Garden 10 am-1 pm on Saturday (August 20th), with hive demonstrations, honey tasting, scavenger hunt, pollination simulation, crafts, even the “waggle dance.” And the kids will learn along the way how important bees are to our everyday lives. It’s all free, courtesy of “your friendly local beekeepers,” who work hard to protect and nurture these amazing (and sometimes misunderstood) insects. The Bee Garden is on the north side of Commons Park, 31st SW and SW Graham.
A tumultuous City Council meeting this afternoon (Seattle Channel video added above) included a passionate packed house at City Hall opposing the proposed Seattle Police North Precinct project, currently proposed at $149 million, $61 million over a previous estimate (page 10, here), nicknamed “The Bunker” by those who want it scrapped. The council didn’t kill it, but didn’t give it final approval, either. Earlier in the day, this and other recent overbudget and/or behind-schedule projects led our area’s Councilmember Lisa Herbold and one a colleague to propose a new oversight committee. Here’s their announcement:
Councilmembers Rob Johnson and Lisa Herbold called for creation of a special Council committee to oversee City-funded capital projects following recent capital expenditures that exceeded initial budgets, including the North Precinct Police Station, the downtown waterfront Seawall, and the New Customer Information System which handles billing issues at the City’s utility departments.
Councilmember Lisa Herbold (District 1, West Seattle & South Park) said, “It’s been frustrating when large projects go millions over budget, or are years behind schedule – such as Fire Station #32 in the West Seattle Junction. In creating this committee, Councilmembers can more closely monitor large projects, so we’re not faced with no-win options when presented with updates late in the process.”
The Council Capital Projects Oversight Committee would share characteristics with capital oversight best practices, such as the Sound Transit Capital Committee oversight process, which creates a series of systematic check-ins as projects progress, both through planning and construction. The Council committee’s oversight work would establish a baseline level of transparency to help ensure City capital projects remain on budget and the public remains informed along the way.
Councilmember Rob Johnson (District 4, Northeast Seattle) said, “‘Transparency’ should be the name of the game as we develop our capital facilities. As Sound Transit develops their projects, staff seeks Board authorization at eight points throughout the process, including for preliminary engineering, final design, and baseline budget, which includes total project costs and construction. As a Seattle City Councilmember, I expect the public to hold me accountable for delivering our capital projects on time and within budget, but we need the tools necessary for proper oversight. If City facilities are projected to run over-budget, the Council should have plenty of lead time to develop alternatives or contingencies.”
The Council receives annual reports on all City capital investments, but they can be of limited utility because of the volume of information provided. A Council Capital Projects Oversight Committee would likely identify characteristics of projects they wanted to review, including large projects or projects that are at least 10% over initial budgets.
Councilmembers will work with their colleagues to develop oversight committee legislation for introduction at a later date.
Herbold’s comment refers to the new West Seattle fire station that, as we first reported last fall, is running more than 9 years behind the original schedule. Construction of the new Fire Station 32 in The Junction finally began with demolition four months ago; the original estimate, with the 2003 fire levy that funded it, was for a 2007 completion – now, it’ll be 2017.
4:49 PM: If you’re heading toward the southbound Alaskan Way Viaduct downtown – you’ll want to avoid the Columbia entrance. Seattle Police report that they’re talking with “an armed man in crisis, currently barricaded in the 800 block of Post Ave” and @jhewiz points out via this Instagram image that this is happening right alongside the Columbia onramp [map].
5:11 PM: Police confirmed via Twitter the man was taken into custody “peacefully.”
P.S. Here’s a recap via SPD Blotter.
West Seattle HS Band members raising $ for a new tuba at Summer Fest. pic.twitter.com/I04OAvX5wI
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) July 8, 2016
We published that video on the first day of this year’s West Seattle Summer Fest, as band members from West Seattle High School played another streetcorner gig to raise money for a new tuba. Today, Maxwell Lemke – at right in the clip – e-mailed WSB to share the good news: They reached their $1,100 goal and got the tuba!
Maxwell sent that photo of himself (with the tuba) along with his fellow fundraising musicians – Ellie Monroe on trombone, Maximillian Czerwinski on alto sax, Ben Schuh on trumpet, and WSHS music director Ethan Thomas. He also mentioned they had purchased the tuba from Steve Twitchell, who Maxwell met last spring via the West Seattle Community Orchestras:
I sat next to him at rehearsals and one time he mentioned that he had a tuba that he’d been trying to get off his hands; when I asked about it he said that he’d be willing to lend it out to the school for use until we’d have enough money to properly buy it from him. In the back of my head I knew I wanted to get the tuba and I also knew that the way to get it should be through busking (playing music out on the street for money). So in total we went out 19 times; for the first couple times it was just me playing the school’s sousaphone on my own down on Alki, but one day one of my friends that played french horn, Connor Deidrich, passed me and said, “We oughta play together and make a whole band out of this”(paraphrasing).
So I recruited my trumpet and alto sax players and we ran over some of the marching band music we already know and decided that that music would be the key to our success, but a big issue for use was having a reliable trombone player. There were always a couple people here and there that were willing to pitch in for a day or two; we had a tenor sax player, Kevin Corona, that played with us for a long bit before his instrument broke, leaving him unable to play with us for a good chunk of the summer. Overall the first couple weeks were the sketchiest, and it wasn’t until after the first baseball game we busked at that I really felt comfortable and sure that we could make this happen; that was also around the end of the school year, about the same time our first permanent trombone player Ellie Monroe joined us.
Since then we’ve also bought a few marching band songs for the school, arrangements of “Seven Nation Army” by the White Stripes and “Superstition” by Stevie Wonder. I’m going to be a senior this next year and I was thinking that I’d use this as part of my senior project but I’m not entirely sure how I’d present it yet. The goal of the tuba was to accommodate for an expanding low brass section that didn’t have the proper funds to get a tuba in the first place (did you know that the school only gives $300 a year to the music department to spread across 4 different classes? I want to say that MOST of the money at the school’s music department is made through fundraising). The only real “donations” [outside the busking fundraisers] were from two of my family members, my mom and my sister, both giving $50 each even though they live out of state and might never be able to hear us play.
As you know if you are a regular WSB reader, the same dilemma is faced by other extracurricular programs including some sports, and we often bring you word of fundraising events and donation requests. None quite like this one, though.
P.S. Maxwell says you can donate to the WSHS Music program by going here (scroll down the page).
Thanks to Paula for the tip and the photos – Seattle Public Schools confirms they’re moving portables out of Schmitz Park Elementary, including the one taken away just before 4 am today. None are going to other schools in West Seattle. We asked SPS spokesperson Tom Redman for details on what’s happening, and here’s his response:
· Tuesday, Aug 16th, 4-6 a.m.: one portable will be moved from Schmitz Park to North Beach Elementary
· Aug 18th thru Aug 23rd, 4-6 a.m.: four portables will move from Schmitz Park to Hamilton Middle School. There will be a total of four separate morning moves during this time period.
· One portable from Schmitz Park to Maple Elementary
· One portable from Schmitz Park to Mercer Middle School
· One portable from Schmitz Park to Viewlands Elementary
We also noticed a portable last week at Sanislo Elementary on Puget Ridge – Redman says Sanislo has “received two portables, one from the portable manufacturer and one from Loyal Heights Elementary.” Sanislo is expecting 275 students this fall, five more than last fall; according to this recent letter to families from new Sanislo principal Erika Ayer, the campus now has three portables, “which will house our two second grade classrooms and a third grade classroom.”
10:37 AM: Thanks for the tip – 42nd SW is blocked in The Junction just south of SW Oregon because of a crash. We just checked out the scene; police say a driver hit a pedestrian and a parked car – the pedestrian was taken to a hospital by private ambulance. Police and fire are still on scene so the road likely will be blocked a while.
11:05 AM: SPD just tweeted that Traffic Collision Investigation detectives have been called out – the woman who was hit has serious, but not life-threatening, injuries – so that likely means the closure will be longer than first thought. We’ll check back around noon.
11:40 AM: SDOT has the 42nd/Alaska traffic camera (see it here) focused on the scene, still blocked as of right now.
1:13 PM: The investigation scene has cleared and 42nd SW is open again.
(Caspian Tern – photo by Mark Wangerin)
Here are some possibilities for your mid-August Monday, from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
ORCHARD MEETUP: The Community Orchard of West Seattle on the northeast side of the South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) campus welcomes your visit 5-7 pm – learn about the orchard, lend a helping hand or two; details in our calendar listing. (6000 16th SW)
FAMILY STORY TIME: 6:30 pm at High Point Library – stories, songs, and rhymes. (35th SW/SW Raymond)
WEST SEATTLE QUILTERS: All quilters welcome, 7 pm at Senior Center of West Seattle. (California SW/SW Oregon)
CABARET AT ARTSWEST: Jimmie Herrod is tonight’s featured performer in the “After Hours: Origins” series, 7:30 pm at ArtsWest Playhouse in The Junction – details in our calendar listing. (4711 California SW)
If you see an unfamiliar gray 2006 4-door Honda Accord in your neighborhood, it might be the one stolen early today outside Joshua‘s house on Tillicum Road SW near Lincoln Park [map]. License plate AKV4815; “slight dent with paint chip on the top front of the hood.” The key was mistakenly left inside another vehicle nearby; the thief/thieves found it and stole the Accord. Call 911 if you see it – could be anywhere; WSB readers’ recently reported stolen vehicles have turned up near and far.
(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)
6:57 AM: Good morning and welcome to Monday. No incidents in West Seattle or on the major outbound routes so far. We do have long-term Metro reroutes to mention:
C-LINE, 21E, 55, 56, 57, 120, 125: The downtown bus stop on westbound Columbia at 2nd is closed until mid-October. Here’s the official notice.
SPOKANE ST. WORK, EAST OF THE LOW BRIDGE: This project continues today. Here’s our most-recent update on where crews are working.
9:04 AM: No SFD dispatch, but SDOT is reporting a crash at Delridge/Trenton. And if you’re heading out on the Fauntleroy/Vashon/Southworth ferry route any time soon – fog has moved onto the water, east to west.
9:31 AM: Just went over to Delridge/Trenton – whatever happened there has completely cleared.