West Seattle, Washington
Toplines from last night’s Highland Park Action Committee meeting:
POLICE UPDATE: Highland Park has had one more residential burglary than at this time last year, said Southwest Precinct Operations Lt. Ron Smith. Commercial burglaries are the same, larceny (theft) is down slightly. The biggest news: Car prowls are down 57 percent – 18 to date this year compared to 42 to date last year. Auto theft, though, has doubled – 11 compared to 6 at this time last year. Total property crime, down a third. Six “shots fired” calls in Highland Park and vicinity so far this year – “tangible evidence” is required for the classification, property damage and/or casings found. Four of the six calls in HP were in the very early morning on Sundays; there’s no pattern in terms of where they’re happening, nor any clear suspect/vehicle descriptions.
Asked about homelessness and related issues, Lt. Smith mentioned a house where a squatter had set up generators that’s “about to be addressed,” and said they now have trespass agreements with owners of more than 40 properties, meaning police have authority to clear out trespassers rather than having to get incident-by-incident authorization from property owners.
Also, the new SPD “navigation team” will be directed to two areas, likely the unauthorized encampment along Spokane Street under the east end of the West Seattle Bridge and part of the Myers Way greenbelt. Local police recently helped a family of five who is without a home because the parents are having trouble finding work.
He also mentioned some of the resources detailed at the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council one night earlier – the new bike squad, and the “0-9 car.”
And in discussion, asked about the revolving door for certain types of repeat offenders, Lt. Smith says there’s dawning awareness among lawmakers that maybe car prowling, for example, should be a felony, rather than a misdemeanor.
NEIGHBORHOOD PARK & STREET FUND MORPHS INTO ‘YOUR VOICE, YOUR CHOICE’: Jenny Frankl from the Department of Neighborhoods was at HPAC to talk about this new “participatory budgeting” process for proposing and deciding on projects that used to be funded by what was known as the Neighborhood Park and Street Fund. It’s $2 million – same as last year – allocated across the seven City Council districts. We have reported on this before – here and here. More than 500 ideas have come in citywide, 100+ of them from West Seattle, as the “idea collection” phase continues through February 26. (Go here to see what’s been suggested citywide so far.)
What’s new: Once the “idea collection” phase closes, the next step is to review ideas, and public participation is urged, with four meetings set in West Seattle to look at local ideas – March 9th, 13th, 21st, 30th – “it’s designed so you could come to one, or more than one,” Frankl explained. (You can find the specifics via the calendar on the city website – look for the meetings whose title starts with D1.)
Is this a format that will be used for years to come? an attendee asked. “We’re very much figuring this out as we go,” said Frankl, urging both participation and patience.
HPAC chair Gunner Scott voiced concern that the change in the process – to City Council districts (of which West Seattle is part of one) instead of neighborhood districts (of which West Seattle has two, roughly divided between east and west) – will have a less equitable result, without memory and relationships involved.
“I think this is going to be less about who got what last year, who got what two years ago, and more looking at, how far behind is (a neighborhood),” Frankl suggested, while again reiterating that this is a work in progress.
“So, $285,000 for all of West Seattle, if you’re going to use that lens – will you be looking at, say, we’re going to put more into Highland Park because Alki Beach has had more improvements, for example?” Scott – whose career involves dealing with grants – pressed.
“That’s going to be part of it,” Frankl replied.
“Does the voting process go to all of West Seattle, or just those participating, or …?” asked Kim Barnes.
Frankl replied that it would be mostly online voting – some paper ballots too, but not made available via postal mail. Barnes voiced concern that the voting process would be an equity issue. Others pointed out that Highland Park has no central gathering place where tabling could be done for voting.
As concerns continued swirling, Frankl repeated that “we’re going to learn a lot through this process – we’re working through a lot of kinks,” and added that rather than logistics of voting, she’s most concerned about what’s going to get onto the ballots.
Scott also asked if there will be a public report on how this went, compared to previous years. Yes, there will be, but she doesn’t know when – likely July/August after voting is done and projects “have moved forward,” Frankl said.
Pointed observation from one attendee: “They got rid of the district council system saying only privileged people could come to meetings, and now you’re saying that coming to meetings is the best way to advance your project?”
Another gently pointed out that Frankl didn’t make that decision and shouldn’t be grilled about it.
Shortly thereafter, she was asked about the Community Involvement Commission, also part of what the city is implementing after cutting ties with neighborhood-district councils. She isn’t working directly with that program, she noted, but tried to field some general questions. Read more about the CIC here, and if you’re interested, apply ASAP.
P.S. (added early Friday) If you’d like to add suggestions for parks/streets, here’s the link.
HPAC GRANT: The organization got a $7,000 grant that’s being used for expenses including rental fees for meeting location Highland Park Improvement Club and upgrading the wireless internet system at HPIC so meetings can be streamed, and other ideas are being sought. (Some suggested at the meeting included having a big party, having a community cleanup, designing and making new “Welcome to Highland Park” signs.) Watch for an online survey.
HPAC LEADERSHIP: The meeting also included board elections. Scott and current co-vice-chair Michele Witzki ran as a team to serve as co-chairs. Priorities, they said before the vote, would include seeking resources to help mitigate the hosting of another encampment, plus pushing to fix Highland Park Way’s safety issues, including pedestrian infrastructure. Craig Rankin, current co-vice-chair, ran for vice chair, and noted that one of his most intense interests is parks. No one was nominated (self- or otherwise) to serve as secretary. Michelle Glassley, current treasurer, was nominated to serve again; she confessed it hasn’t been a very busy job because (HPAC doesn’t collect dues) there hasn’t been activity in the account. The aforementioned grant will change that, Scott noted. All who ran were elected without opposition.
COMMUNITY ANNOUNCEMENTS: Barnes said a second meeting is set for the South Delridge Bus Triangle redesign project (here’s our coverage of the first one), and that the lights there will be replaced … She also announced the March 1st Westwood-Highland Park Urban Village HALA-rezoning followup meeting that we previewed here earlier in the day.
Highland Park Action Committee meets on fourth Wednesdays most months, 7 pm, at Highland Park Improvement Club (12th SW & SW Holden). Between meetings, watch hpacinfo.wordpress.com for updates and calls to action.
As mentioned here three weeks ago, the City Council was scheduled to get a briefing February 6th about the HALA Mandatory Housing Affordability rezoning plans. Then … it snowed, and City Hall was closed for the day, with all business postponed. The agenda for next Monday morning’s meeting has arrived (February 27th) and the rescheduled HALA briefing is on it. The agenda also includes links to the documents and slide deck for the meeting; we just took a quick look and it appears they are the same ones prepared for February 6th (most still carry that date). The meeting starts at 9:30 am Monday at City Hall; this weekly meeting has no public-comment period, but you’re welcome to attend in person or watch via Seattle Channel (cable 21 or online).
OTHER HALA EVENTS AHEAD: Westwood-Highland Park Urban Village community discussion next Wednesday (info here); Morgan Junction Urban Village Community Design Workshop on March 6th (info here). And if you’re still not sure if your neighborhood is affected by the rezoning proposals, use the citywide interactive map to zoom in and look.
Help Sanislo and Lafayette students have FUN!
Finding Urban Nature (FUN) is Seattle Audubon’s free environmental education program in Seattle Public Elementary Schools.
FUN introduces 3rd- and 4th-grade students to the nature in their own schoolyard habitat, and examines how each organism depends on others to survive. Volunteers lead small groups of four to six students through a series of outdoor investigations, which teach kids to use their senses and scientific practices to discover the importance of urban biodiversity firsthand.
Volunteers devote about two hours a week for four weeks to lead 4-6 students through each lesson, with the support of the school’s FUN Team Leader and classroom teachers. No previous teaching or science background is necessary; volunteers will attend a training session before going into a school.
The program needs volunteers at Sanislo and Lafayette Elementary Schools for lessons in April and May. Please respond as soon as possible to be a part of FUN training in April. Contact us at FUNvolunteer@seattleaudubon.org or call 206-523-8243 ext. 12 if interested.
A stop at Thunder Road Guitars (WSB sponsor) in The Junction was on Mayor Murray’s agenda today as he announced a $1.4 million city investment in 24 neighborhood business districts as part of the Only in Seattle program. Here’s what OiS supports:
Business and retail development (supporting businesses, attracting new businesses)
Marketing and promotion (events, social media, district advertising)
Clean and safe (graffiti removal, garbage pick-up, lighting)
Streetscape and appearance (catalytic development projects, façade, public art)
Business organization development to sustain the effort, including the creation of a Business Improvement Area (BIA) or exploration to form one
The local grant will total $20,000. The money goes to business districts – such as the West Seattle Junction Association – not to individual businesses. (Here’s the full announcement including who got what all over the city.) TRG’s proprietor Frank Gross has done some extra work for the cause recently – you might recall this story last year when he was announced as a member of the Commercial Affordability Advisory Committee – here’s the result of the work done by that committee.
Since the last twice-weekly update, the Highway 99 tunneling machine has passed the 8,000-foot mark of its 9,270-foot route. To be specific, as of today, it’s dug 8,132 feet and has 1,138 feet to go – about two more blocks, according to today’s WSDOT update. It’s currently near 6th/Wall and set to emerge at 6th/Thomas.
P.S. If you missed it earlier today, WSDOT has announced the Alaskan Way Viaduct’s next weekend maintenance (etc.) closure will be March 4-5.
Today we’re welcoming new WSB sponsor Welcome Road Winery, whose proprietors Leigh McMillan and Kristen Dorrity invite you to their tasting room at 3804 California SW.
Here’s what Welcome Road Winery would like you to know: We are local to West Seattle and make award-winning wine from Washington’s renowned Yakima Valley, and our tasting room is fun and friendly place (with a French ski lodge theme) to taste wine or kick back with a glass on the patio. We also throw great parties and events.
Welcome Road Winery‘s tasting room is for fun-loving wine drinkers who want to taste fabulous wine or enjoy a glass and bite of cheese in a laid-back, friendly, and fun environment. People come back because they love the wine, but also because they have a great time in our tasting room. Typically there is a lot of laughing with friendly people and our room is relaxed and unpretentious.
Our award-winning wines are made in the French winemaking tradition, but with Pacific Northwest spirit. They are elegant and bold, but play nicely with all types of food – from BBQ to holiday dinners to grilled seafood. We are known in particular for our Bordeaux-style blends featuring Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah.
Welcome Road is the epitome of a boutique, urban winery – making just 700 cases of wine per year. Winemaker Leigh is a graduate of the WSU Enology program and works in marketing during the day, while co-owner Kristen practices law. We were inspired to start a winery after visits to wine country throughout France and eastern Washington. We are honored to work with some of the best grape growers from the renowned Yakima Valley, including the great folks at Dineen Vineyards and Two Mountain. These guys have years of experience and consistently produce great fruit. Yakima Valley‘s arid climate, rocky landscape, and ample sunshine make for fantastic grape-growing conditions. We are proud to make wine from this outstanding fruit.
Welcome Road Winery is a member of Seattle Urban Wineries and supports WestSide Baby and Genesee Hill Elementary School. See the Welcome Road wine list here. The Welcome Road Winery tasting room at 3804 California SW is open Fridays 5 to 8 pm and Saturdays 1 to 7 pm.
We thank Welcome Road Winery for sponsoring independent, community-collaborative neighborhood news via WSB; find our current sponsor team listed in directory format here, and find info on joining the team by going here.
Everybody got out OK after this car went off 34th SW near SW Cloverdale and onto its side on the sidewalk. Often these types of crashes are dispatched as “heavy rescues” but the people in the car were out before SFD and SPD arrived so it was a smaller, short-lived response. Police were still talking with them to determine what happened and said everyone was being “cooperative.”
The RapidRide line through Delridge is now projected to open in 2020 – one year later than suggested as recently as a few months ago. And it’s been officially declared the H Line. That’s according to new information on the SDOT website (hat-tip Seattle Transit Blog, which says this was presented downtown last night at a Seattle Transit Advisory Board meeting), including this list of the names and start dates for all the currently envisioned expansion routes:
Also posted by SDOT, this detailed report on the expansion routes and what’s next – you’ll find the H Line on page 24 and 25:
We’ll be checking with SDOT to see when the next community discussion/presentation about the H Line is planned. West Seattle’s first RapidRide route, the C Line, launched service in September 2012.
Busy morning – but there’s still time for this lineup of highlights for the rest of today/tonight, from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
WEST SEATTLE TRANSPORTATION COALITION: The Fauntleroy Boulevard project is the big agenda item when WSTC meets at 6:30 pm at Neighborhood House’s High Point Center, as previewed here last weekend. (6400 Sylvan Way)
BYSTANDER INTERVENTION WORKSHOP: 6:30 pm, free workshop at Fauntleroy UCC Church “to learn practical, safe alternatives to doing nothing in bullying or harassment situations.” (9140 California SW)
ORCA TALK: 7 pm at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), this Orca Talk presented by The Whale Trail and Seal Sitters will bring you the “rare firsthand story of an orca rescue,” as previewed here. (5612 California SW)
METROPOLITAN MARKET REMODEL TALK: The Metropolitan Market (WSB sponsor) Admiral remodeling work is about to resume, and as reported here last Friday, company leadership knows customers have questions and concerns about what’s changed so far and what’s next, so they’re inviting you to a gathering at the store 7-8:30 pm tonight to talk with the CEO and store director, preview what’s next, and enjoy some bites. (41st/42nd/Admiral)
TRIVIA NIGHT: Monthly trivia at Tap Station, 7 pm. All ages welcome. Prizes! (7900 35th SW)
OF COURSE, THERE’S MORE … for today, tonight, and beyond, on our complete-calendar page!
(Reader photo texted from High Point area)
10:21 AM: The snow shower’s apparently moving north to south – we heard from Alki and Admiral a little while earlier, and now it’s finally arrived down here in Upper Fauntleroy. If you’re on Twitter, you saw @westseawx predict this very early today. It’s not expected to hang around – and the air temp is well above freezing, 39 degrees – but Kim in High Point says it’s sticking on her lawn, so we’ll see how it goes.
10:37 AM: Sticking (at ~300 feet).
10:53 AM: And melting, with some blue sky moving in from the west. Forecast says this might happen tomorrow morning too.
THURSDAY NIGHT NOTE: Here’s a Special Weather Statement officially warning more snow showers are possible.
Just announced by WSDOT – the next inspection closure of the Alaskan Way Viaduct. It’s scheduled to close both ways between the West Seattle Bridge and the north end of the Battery Street Tunnel between 6 am and 6 pm Saturday, March 4th, and Sunday, March 5th. Part of 99 will close for non-inspection reasons north of the BSTunnel – that Saturday, construction crews will be working on SB 99 between the tunnel and Valley Street in South Lake Union “so construction crews can complete the work needed to reopen Harrison Street.” And on that Sunday morning, the annual Hot Chocolate 15K will extend the closure north of the BSTunnel, while a Project Belltown walk in the BSTunnel will extend the NB lane closure until about 1 pm. Full details here.
Parenting is sometimes joyful, sometimes frustrating … and some expert advice can help with the latter. Next Tuesday (February 28th), in collaboration with West Seattle Cooperative Preschools, Parent Map is presenting Dr. Laura Kastner in West Seattle, explaining how to “Tame the Tears: Parenting Positively.” She’s speaking at 7 pm at Brockey Center on the South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) campus on Puget Ridge. Dr. Kastner is author of “Getting to Calm: The Early Years,” and is a clinical professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the UW. Organizers explain:
Dr. Kastner will draw on her experience to offer parents much-needed tools for success in their parenting journey. Parents will learn tips to help encourage positive behavior, manage those dreaded tantrums and teach emotional intelligence. Walk away with the tools to better manage emotions and strengthen the bond between child and parent.
Discounted advance tickets are available online now.
(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)
7:20 AM: Chilly but quiet morning so far. No incidents in/from West Seattle.
TONIGHT: Interested in the Fauntleroy Boulevard project? Be at tonight’s West Seattle Transportation Coalition meeting (6:30 pm, Neighborhood House’s High Point Center, 6400 Sylvan Way).
7:52 AM: Metro just announcef that the 7:38 am Route 57 “did not operate this morning.”
8:17 AM: Texter says the Avalon/Spokane signal is flashing again.
9:59 AM: WSDOT has just announced two things of note – first, overnight lane closures on I-5 this Saturday night:
Late night drivers should expect delays on northbound Interstate 5 starting Saturday night, Feb. 25, into early Sunday morning, Feb. 26. Washington State Department of Transportation crews need to close several lanes of the freeway between State Route 599 and I-90 to perform routine maintenance on the overhead messaging signs.
Crews will close up to four lanes beginning with the left lane at 10 p.m. Traffic will be reduced to one lane by midnight.
The northbound I-5 off-ramp to Corson Avenue/South Michigan Street will also be closed beginning at 10 p.m. Saturday. All lanes and ramps will reopen by 6 a.m. Sunday.
Also, the Alaskan Way Viaduct’s next inspection closure is set for March 4-5, with some extra closures both days on Highway 99 north of the Battery Street Tunnel.
11:13 AM: And more work announced for THIS weekend. From WSDOT:
Drivers heading into Seattle by way of the 1st Avenue South Bridge on Saturday morning should prepare for possible delays.
Washington State Department of Transportation bridge maintenance crews will close the two right lanes of northbound State Route 99 at the bridge from 6:30 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 25, for bridge deck repair work.
The 1st Avenue South Bridge will still open to boat traffic during the maintenance work. If a vessel requests an opening, crews will clear and open the bridge for the vessel, then reset traffic control, which could prompt further delays.