West Seattle, Washington
Nine West Seattle/South Park projects to choose from, and eight days left to vote in Your Voice, Your Choice:
As shown in our June 3rd start-of-voting story, that’s the guide spotlighting the local projects. Three will be chosen in each district (ours is 1), so vote for your three favorites. As explained in this reminder on the city website, you can vote online (ages 13 and up) by going here, or on a paper ballot (ages 11 and up) available at city libraries and community centers. The voting deadline is June 30th; the projects were proposed by local residents – more than 200 suggestions in our district alone.
In case you wondered too – since we hadn’t heard anything about a “car-free day” on Alki this year, we checked with SDOT, and they tell us that there won’t be one. What began with a “Car-Free Day” in September 2008 moved to May the next year and was renamed Seattle Summer Streets. That continued annually through 2014. Nothing in 2015; Then last year SDOT brought it back to September and called it Seattle Summer Parkways. This year, in response to our inquiry about whether there would be a car-free day this year, SDOT’s Sue Romero replied:
Summer Parkways is taking a break this summer, and will resume in Summer 2018. As we consider the direction of the program, we are finalizing plans for 2018 and will share them with you when complete.
Instead, she says, SDOT’s “car-free” program is focusing this year on 10 Pike People Streets days in July and August and could spread here:
Resulting from the piloting done on the People Street concept in Capitol Hill, we’re starting to get inquiries from other neighborhoods, including West Seattle, that are interested in establishing their own regular People Street events. We see this as another promising development in our overall public space activation strategy.
Alki will of course be the scene of other events this summer, including the Seafair Pirates Landing on July 8th and the Alki Art Fair July 22-23, but the street stays open to all modes for those events, which are centered on the beach and/or boardwalk.
First, from Adam:
Our garage (on the alley bounded by 46th, 47th, Genesee, and Dakota) was burglarized last night and a number of things were stolen. The most valuable was a black and green Specialized Rumor FSR Comp Mountain Bike (S/N WSBC601045128I). I attached our best picture of it.
The list of stolen items, as best we can tell:
Specialized Rumor FSR Comp Mountain Bike, black with green accents
Sierra Bike Helmet, black and pink
A bike pump, tool kit, and water bottle (attached to the bike)
A pair of skis and bindings (yellow, can be seen behind the bike in the photo)
A cordless DeWalt drill and reciprocating saw in a black plastic case and several associated drill bits and blades.
A pneumatic nail gun, also in a black plastic case
A DeWalt orbital sander in a small fabric tote
An assorted set of tools in a gray plastic case (sockets and drivers, screwdrivers, Allen keys, fixed and adjustable wrenches, pliers, wire cutters, a tape measure, bit drivers, etc.)
No police incident # yet – Adam was still awaiting an officer at last report.
BICYCLE-THEFT DETERRENCE: Southwest Precinct Crime Prevention Coordinator Jennifer Burbridge just happens to have focused her next newsletter on advice for bicycle owners:
If you can’t read it embedded above, here’s the PDF version.
The city’s Utility Discount Program is expanding, adding help for more seniors, as announced by Mayor Ed Murray in a media briefing today at the Senior Center of West Seattle, with Councilmember Lisa Herbold and Seattle Public Utilities general manager Mami Hara.
This has to do with seniors receiving Social Security and being on Medicare – 3,000 are not getting “the help they need or the help they deserve,” because some benefits are being counted as income even though they’re not, so the city is changing eligibility rules to make sure they can get it. This can save more than $1,000 a year per household, “making their lives a little bit more affordable.”
The city already had a push under way to make sure more people eligible for the program took advantage of it, and participation has more than doubled in the past three years.
Herbold – who chairs the committee that oversees SPU – said she first heard about this eligibility problem last fall, and is glad it’s been fixed. “Another change we made was for folks to qualify for time payments when they have past-due bills” – more people can get some time to do that. She says it’s a matter of “connecting problems that constituents face on a day-to-day basis with the policy work we do in the office.”
Hara said that SPU bills can be discounted 50 percent under the discount program, and for City Light bills, it’s 60 percent. The utilities are working to be “responsive,” she said. And those who sign up for this program only need to renew their registration every three years. Signing up also gets you free passes for transfer-station use, worth up to $145 a year, and free backyard collection of trash and compost for those who can’t get theirs to the curb because of mobility issues.
You can find out more about the Utility Discount Program by going here. Councilmember Herbold also said that the city will be retroactively reviewing those who have been turned down for the program to see if they’re now eligible.
SIDE NOTE: And if you’re a senior with other resource problems/questions – or have someone in your family who is – West Seattleite Irene Stewart from the Age-Friendly Seattle program tells us you can call the free Community Living Connections hotline, 844-348-5464.
Andy Cote and his neighbors on SW Portland Court [map] call it “The Hole.”
It’s not anything close to the size of the West Seattle development excavation that held that title for years. But they’re having trouble understanding why it hasn’t been fixed. The city claims that it addresses road holes quickly. Andy says he’s been reporting this one for three years. But it’s not shown on the city’s pothole map – either as fixed or as pending.
We talked with him and his neighbors this morning, as the return of summer sunshine showed it in all its glory.
This one isn’t a deep hole. The problem is that it’s a spot in the road where the pavement has literally eroded away.
Among the handful of homes on their cul-de-sac, two residents require wheelchairs, and they have a problem too – no curb cuts.
What curbs they do have, are also crumbling. They wonder if development just to the east, with a retaining wall built five years ago, is to blame. Whatever it is, they say, it’s nothing they have any control over, and since the city owns the road and sidewalks, they’re looking for a little help.
And what burns a bit – neighbor Hillairee says SDOT will “show up for something we haven’t bugged them about.” Like, if “sidewalk closed” signs related to work nearby nearby are moved. (Portland Court is just off 26th SW, which leads directly to Denny International Middle School and adjacent Chief Sealth International High School down the block to the south.)
So this week, they put out a call for help – to City Councilmember Lisa Herbold, among others, and cc’d us. Andy explained in the note, “Our cul de sac is crumbling. I am assuming it was paved one time in the early 1950s. With the 8 houses on the cul de sac and the multiple deliveries coming and going every day with the changing retail environment, the pavement is gone in a spot. If that spot is not corrected soon, the entire bottom portion of the cul de sac will be gravel. Already there is a 6 foot square that can no longer be pavement.”
Not long after we stopped by this morning to talk with neighbors by The Hole, Andy e-mailed to say that they had received a reply from Herbold, who said she’s sorry he hasn’t heard from SDOT, and added:
By the way of this email, I am bringing this situation directly to the attention of Scott Kubly, Director of the Department of Transportation, as well as Elliot Helmbrecht, the Department of Transportation liaison to the Seattle City Council. Director Kubly and his staff are best equipped to address this problem.
Will they? We’ll be following up.
(Newly fledged female downy woodpecker, photographed by Mark Wangerin)
From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
LOW-LOW TIDE, WITH BEACH NATURALISTS: Another round of low-low tides starts today, and Seattle Aquarium volunteer beach naturalists will be out at Constellation and Lincoln Parks 9 am-noon today. (Low tide is -2.4 feet at 10:06 am)
MAYORAL FORUM: The West Seattle Democratic Women are hosting a mayoral-candidates forum at 11:45 am at West Seattle Golf Course. Details in our calendar listing, including reservation information. (4470 35th SW)
COLMAN POOL REOPENS: Seattle Parks says the pool’s mechanical problem is fixed and the saltwater pool on the shore at Lincoln Park is ready to reopen – that means today is the belated start of its 7-day-a-week schedule for summer, noon-7 pm.
RESTAURANT SUCCESS ORIENTATION: 3-4:30 pm at Delridge Library, “learn about resources available for restaurant and mobile food business owners.” (5423 Delridge Way SW)
WEST SEATTLE LIGHT RAIL – WHAT DO YOU WANT TO SEE? Before the official Sound Transit work on the West Seattle light-rail line starts later this year, bring your thoughts on routing and stations to the West Seattle Transportation Coalition‘s community-led workshop tonight. 6-9 pm at The Hall at Fauntleroy. (9140 California SW)
VESSELS AND WHALES: Presented by The Whale Trail at the Dakota Place Park Building, 7 pm – learn about the ECHO Program, working to reduce the impact of vessels on whales in our region’s waters. Full details here, including how to check if tickets remain for tonight’s talk. (California SW/SW Dakota)
ACOUSTIC SINGER-SONGWRITERS: 8 pm at Parliament Tavern, William Hall, Amanda Navares and Below Blackstar perform. No cover. 21+. (4210 SW Admiral Way)
THERE’S MORE … just check our complete-calendar page.
6:59 AM: Good morning! No incidents to report right now – a crash on NB I-5 just past the West Seattle Bridge has just been cleared, per WSDOT.
TONIGHT: Interested in our area’s future light rail? The West Seattle Transportation Coalition, an all-volunteer community group, invites you to a workshop to talk about stations and routing, collecting feedback before Sound Transit starts its work on the project later this year. Here’s our preview. 6-9 pm at The Hall at Fauntleroy (9140 California SW).
8:18 AM: Incident-free so far. By the way, for Water Taxi riders – Brent Champaco at King County DOT says the vessel lineup should be back to normal this afternoon; Sally Fox has been out for minor repairs, so Spirit of Kingston‘s been on the West Seattle run, while Doc Maynard handles Vashon.
Wednesday night’s second Class of 2017 commencement ceremony at Southwest Athletic Complex launched more than 220 West Seattle High School graduates into the world. The class adviser, Tom Burggraff, called them “this school’s finest graduating class ever.” He explained why, in his speech following the welcome by ASB president Sean McCabe, who starts this clip:
Burggraff also is the parent of a 2017 grad (Andrew Burggraff), and saluted other grads’ families and friends, who filled the stands and cheered throughout:
Valedictorian Michaela Coontz spoke of concluding “the busiest year of our lives” and urged her peers to be flexible, instead of worrying about deciding their futures immediately, or worrying that whatever path they were setting out on couldn’t be changed:
After the diploma presentation, one more student spoke, ASB vice president Nahom Kassaye. Like adviser Burggraff earlier, he also hailed the Class of 2017 as the school’s most-successful class, and “most impactful.” And then, musical reassurance from an ensemble of graduates (plus a guest from another school), a 40-year-old song by Bob Marley – “Every Little Thing’s Gonna Be All Right”:
Then it was off to the staff receiving line as the grads left the field. Among those there to wish them well, Ruth Medsker, at her last commencement ceremony as WSHS principal:
Before the ceremony, we saw her successor, Brian Vance, on the sidelines:
With new beginnings on the way for many – the Class of 2017 went off into the night.
The hour-and-a-half ceremony celebrated Provost and more than 230 other Class of 2017 graduates – who principal Aida Fraser-Hammer (below with district Superintendent Dr. Larry Nyland) said she would remember warmly because their first year at Sealth was hers too.
Here’s our video of the Class of 2017 entering Southwest Athletic Complex as the ceremony began:
Their principal also hailed the grads’ achievements, including hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships and shouted out to valedictorians Michelle Ly and Tommy Nguyen, and salutatorian Amy Ly. The program also listed 54 grads who made the National Honor Society (3.5 grade-point average or higher). Proud family and friends cheered loudly throughout the ceremony:
And the grads beamed:
Their featured speakers, Kaitlin Andrade and Sean Jenkins, shared memories, promising their classmates they’ll all be together again “at the reunion in 10 years”:
Staff speaker Matthew Schiavo honored the school’s international focus, greeting the grads in multiple languages, and exhorting them to “be your own #1 fan”:
And after the diploma pickups and the tassel-turning, it was time to move on, as the decorated caps showed in a multitude of ways:
They left the stadium through a receiving line of their now-former teachers and other Sealth staffers, perhaps with a memory of their principal’s declaration, “We are Seahawks – we are made to fly; we are made to soar.”
This was the first of two Wednesday night graduations at SWAC – our report on the second, West Seattle HS, is coming up.
Six months ago, we covered a walking tour in South Park led by neighbor Jeff Hayes, showing ongoing trouble spots to a city delegation including Councilmember Lisa Herbold and representatives of various departments. It was illustrative not just for people in or interested in South Park, but anywhere in the city, West Seattle included, where there are trouble spots for which neighbors are trying to get city help. In Hayes’ neighborhood, some situations have improved – we reported in January about the new ownership for vacant commercial spaces – and some are still problems, like the one the city “abated” again today.
This house is next to Hayes, at 1037 South Cloverdale, and he says this is the third time in six months that crews have been sent in to clean up. Much of the work had been done before we got there this afternoon, but they were impounding a vehicle (top photo) and a pickup truck bed that had been turned into a trailer (photo above this paragraph) – Southwest Precinct Community Police Team Officer Todd Wiebke told us at the scene that it had stolen tabs. He also told us two more houses in the area have abatement set for later this week.
We asked one of the agencies involved in the cleanup today, the city Department of Construction and Inspections, for details, and spokesperson Wendy Shark replied, before the cleanup: “We have an abatement order to remove outdoor junk and other miscellaneous items from this property … The conservation corps will be assisting us with the clean-up, Bio-Clean will assist us with the removal of any hazardous waste on the property and SPD will be there as well.” The line item on the SDCI website traces back to a complaint originally made in January, one of many involving this address over the years. (The backstory of the house and its owner was told in this radio report last year.)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Crime trends, community Q & A, and a briefing you might call “Gangs 101” were all part of last night’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting at the Southwest Precinct.
CRIME TRENDS: Capt. Pierre Davis opened the meeting with the latest, saying the precinct is “putting out as many resources” as it can, since “things get a little bit more boisterous” in the summer around here. That includes pulling SWAT officers for extra patrols, the precinct’s Anti-Crime Team, and the full-time bicycle squad, “able to patrol our hot-spot areas.”
One bright spot: Non-residential burglaries are down 2 percent – “we’re arresting a ton of people out there.”
No other stats were mentioned as attendees jumped right to community Q & A: Read More
That’s the “Corner Paradise,” one of 12 gardens you can visit this Sunday during the 2017 West Seattle Garden Tour. It’s a self-guided event, 9 am-5 pm on tour day, but you have to have a $25 ticket book, which includes the locations and maps, and you have to get it in advance, so you have a few more days to do that – here’s how and where. The tour is a fundraiser for local nonprofits – here’s who’s benefiting this year.
Sunday’s forecast is for hot weather, possibly into the 90s, so WSGT’s Aubbie Beal tells WSB, “We are encouraging people to be prepared for heat and sun (sunscreen, hats, water). We will sell water in a few (not all) gardens this year because of the heat, but people should always plan to carry their own.”
Thanks to Gary Jones for the photo of the CCGS Sir Wilfrid Laurier, seen off Alki Point today. Gary says the ship is a “Martha L. Black-class light icebreaker and tender from the Canadian Coast Guard, named after a former Canadian Prime Minister.” We haven’t yet found what it’s doing here, but it’s homeported in Victoria, B.C., so it’s not too far away from home.
The Delridge Business Survey and Outreach Project is on!
The goal: Reaching, engaging, and learning from Delridge’s many businesses, to gather information that will support “community-led business development in the area,” which hasn’t before had a “shared Delridge economic development vision.”
The project is an offshoot of the Delridge Action Plan, and funded by a city grnat, but, Delridge-area businessperson Parie Hines of LD Arch Design (WSB sponsor) tells us, it’s “led by neighborhood residents and businesses, in addition to the Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association and the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce.”
If you have a business in the Delridge area, between SW Spokane and SW Sylvan Way (South Delridge is not included in this project) – they want to hear from you. “Neighborhood ambassadors” will be making in-person visits in the weeks ahead, and you might get a phone call, but even before someone contacts you, you can answer the survey right now or as soon as you have a few minutes to spare – find it here.
Once the survey is complete, Hines says, the project report, summarizing findings and priorities, will be public in August. Project background is also viewable on the DNDA website and the West Seattle Chamber website.
As first reported here last March, West Seattle High School‘s football team has a new head coach, Marcis Fennell. As he and his team get ready for the fall season, they are asking for community help with equipment and supplies that they need for success and safety. WSHS athletic director Corey Sorenson explains, “Basically we have far more kids out for football this year than we currently have proper equipment for. Having a high number of kids turn out for a sport is a good problem to have. Unfortunately it’s also an expensive problem. The headset system for our football coaches is also inoperable. This usually runs around $20,000. We also need to purchase shoulder pads, agility bags, etc.” They’re hoping WSHS alumni and other community members can help, and they’ve set up a GoFundMe page here.
For everyone wondering about this (we’ve just answered several inquiries): We just got confirmation from the King County Sheriff’s Office that the helicopter some are seeing/hearing is Guardian 2 (a military-surplus UH-1 Huey), going back and forth to Vashon because of an all-day SWAT-team-training exercise on the island.
(Band-tailed pigeon, photographed by Mark Wangerin)
For the first full day of summer, here are the highlights, most from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
WATER TAXI PIER 50 OPEN HOUSE: 3:30 pm-6:30 pm, look for the Water Taxi tent at Pier 50 to find out more about the changes coming later this summer when the Colman Dock project moves into construction mode – a temporary service interruption followed by longer-term (but not permanent) dock-location and schedule changes. (See our previous report for more backstory.)
END-OF-SCHOOL-YEAR PARTY: Though the last day of school isn’t until Monday (for Seattle Public Schools, anyway), you can celebrate early at Delridge Community Center, 4-6 pm. Details here. (4501 Delridge Way SW)
POP-UP CLOTHING GIVEAWAY: The West Seattle Helpline‘s Clothesline has another pop-up event at High Point Library, 4:30-5:45 pm, with free clothing for anyone in need, no questions asked. (35th SW/SW Raymond)
CHIEF SEALTH INTERNATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION: First of two graduation ceremonies tonight at Southwest Athletic Complex. 5 pm. (2801 SW Thistle)
COMMUNITY GENERAL STORE SOLSTICE PARTY: 5-8 pm, stop by the Community General Store and celebrate the first full day of summer on the patio. “We’ll celebrate with music, food, bubbles, sidewalk chalk, and outdoor fun.” (5214 Delridge Way SW)
WEST SEATTLE NEIGHBORHOOD GREENWAY DROP-IN EVENT: 5:30-7 pm at Southwest Library, find out more about the “most promising route” for the future greenway, and share your feedback. Also be sure to answer the online survey. Here’s our original report. (9010 35th SW)
ORCA HALF REGISTRATION + YOGA: Tonight’s group run at West Seattle Runner (WSB sponsor), 6:15 pm, includes your chance to register for the September 24th Orca Half and a yoga session. (2743 California SW)
DELRIDGE NEIGHBORHOODS DISTRICT COUNCIL: 7 pm at Neighborhood House High Point. We’ll add agenda highlights later if/when we get them. (6400 Sylvan Way SW)
WEST SEATTLE HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION: Second of two graduation ceremonies tonight at Southwest Athletic Complex. 8 pm. (2801 SW Thistle)
DEADGRASS: Grateful Dead meets bluegrass, 8-11 pm at Parliament Tavern. No cover. 21+. (4210 SW Admiral Way)
THE FUTURE AWAITS … look ahead days, weeks, months via our complete-calendar page.
One week from today – June 28th – is the annual Peace in the Hood basketball tournament presented by North Delridge-headquartered Southwest Youth and Family Services. There’s something extra this year, and it’s not too late to be part of it. Here’s the announcement:
Peace in the Hood is a collaboration with Worksource and our Violence Prevention programs in Seattle and South King County. This year we are pairing the event with a job fair for the youth – over 30 vendors will be there to provide job opportunities, and some are even doing interviews on-site.
Vendors interested in attending can register here: peace-in-the-hood-jobfair.eventbrite.com
Registration starts at 2 pm. Tournament starts at 3 pm.
Location: Steve Cox Memorial Park in White Center
Tournament Team requirements:
· The following age groups must be in your team and all members of your team must fit the age group: 12-14 or 15-18.
· All teams can be Co-Ed
· Each team is allowed one substitute, but the substitute must fit the age range of your team
· If you are in the age group 15-18 you are allowed but not required to have one adult community partner (Mentor, Case Manager, Outreach Worker, etc)
· Early registration is encouraged due to limited spots, each team must have 1 Team Captain and contact the Registration Coordinator Waz Thay: email@example.com or 206-937-7680 or visit the Log Cabin Teen Center.
· Day of registration will be on a first come first serve basis.
Questions? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
6:59 AM: Good morning, happy Wednesday, and welcome to the first day of summer. No incidents so far in or from West Seattle. Two transportation-related events this afternoon/evening:
WATER TAXI CHANGES: At the downtown terminal, Pier 50, King County will have a tent 3:30-6:30 pm for more information on the location and schedule changes coming up later this summer when Colman Dock construction begins – here’s our original report.
WEST SEATTLE GREENWAY: Second of two drop-in events is tonight, 5:30-7 pm, at Southwest Library (9010 35th SW), to find out about and comment on the “most promising route” for the greenway – here’s our original report.
David Hutchinson saw it from Alki Statue of Liberty Plaza …
Jen Popp was looking toward downtown …
And Alice Enevoldsen was at Solstice Park, as summer arrived after 9 o’clock tonight:
During her 33rd quarterly seasonal sunset watch, Alice was mostly looking ahead to the rare sight that’s now exactly two months away – the August 21st solar eclipse that will be visible in totality as close as parts of Oregon.
Those who joined her at the park of course also got the chance to learn about and commemorate the changing of the seasons – this year, the solstice moment was less than half an hour after sunset, which was mostly obscured by clouds, aside from the show of pink in the photos atop our story.
So, back to the eclipse: While it won’t be total up here, you’ll still see it at about 90 percent, Alice pointed out. The most important thing is HOW you view it, so you don’t damage your eyes. You can create pinhole viewers or else get a special type of eyewear – cardboard glasses like the ones she showed are on sale at the South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) library – they look cheap, she acknowledged, but they get the job done.
The most important thing in eclipse eyewear, she said, is to adhere to ISO 12312-2 – explained on this NASA webpage that’s all about safe eclipse viewing. For general eclipse info, she recommends MrEclipse.com.
P.S. Alice won’t be in West Seattle to lead an eclipse-viewing party but she’ll be talking with local skywatchers and will let us know if anyone else plans to.
After decades of teaching, those two West Seattleites are moving to the next phase of their lives. The announcement, from their family:
This month, two longtime (37+-year) educators are retiring from the teaching world.
Nancy Hallberg (who helped facilitate the White Center Heights Elementary musical instrument drive a few years back) is retiring from her position as the librarian at WCH, where she dazzled the students, introducing them to Roald Dahl and Dr. Seuss, encouraging them to find a passion for reading and exploring their talents.
Peter Junkerman is retiring his beakers and stepping into a life free of lab experiments after 35+ years as a science teacher. He spent the last 10+ at Chief Sealth International HS as the IB Chemistry teacher; and his career revloved around igniting the fire of learning, pushing students to find new ways to think about the environment, molecules, and the world around them. He has earned the distingushed honor of being a “Junkerman” as told by the Urban Dictonary:
a very awesome teacher, or someone who is really good at teaching other people
Karl: i don’t get this problem
Hamda: just call over the teacher, he’s a total junkerman, he’ll help you out.
They plan to spend their lazy days of retirement traveling, walking in Lincoln Park, and reading for pleasure. Hanging out with their kids and grandbaby will keep their days interesting.
Mail theft has been taken to a new level in Cecelia‘s neighborhood:
I live on 16th Ave SW in Puget Ridge. On Saturday night our USPS-issued community mailbox was broken into (5400 block) along with one on 21st Ave SW and Holly (and) at least one other one on 17th (also 5400 block). There was at least one report that someone noticed that one other of the same type mailbox was damaged but not fully broken into. They were all pried open and most mail was missing with just some random pieces left behind.
It was noted in our neighborhood newsgroup that each individual in these kind of boxes must make their own police report. I’ve filed a report and I know some other neighbors have too. Also that one neighbor spoke with USPS and was told that if the mail carrier cannot lock a box they will automatically hold the mail at the post office.
We’ve had many mail thefts in the past but they are usually street boxes that are not locked. I’ve lived here 5 years and this is the first time our USPS mailbox has been broken into.
Here’s how to report mail theft and/or mailbox break-ins, which, SPD notes, are federal crimes.
Colman Pool will stay closed at least one more day, Seattle Parks told us this afternoon. This was supposed to be its first week of 7-day operations, but a broken pump required repair work, and instead it was closed all weekend, yesterday, and today; Parks hopes for a Thursday reopening. The outdoor saltwater pool on the shore at Lincoln Park marked its 75th anniversary last summer.