West Seattle, Washington
Thanks to Chief Sealth International High School for again inviting us to stop by during the annual Multicultural Night celebration! We were there for two groups’ performances tonight – above, the East African Dance group; below, dancers from the Van-Lang Vietnamese Cultural School:
The celebration also featured food, and smiles:
This year’s theme was “Pass the Plate: Positivity and Peace.”
With the rain record we’ve just set, it’s almost humorous that there wasn’t a drop in sight when RainWise threw a party today at Peace Lutheran Church in Gatewood, in honor of the “green stormwater infrastructure” that has lessened the load on the combined-sewer system in the area, to reduce the chances of overflows into Puget Sound.
The church is in what King County refers to as the “Barton basin,” where combined-stormwater overflow control has been put into place via projects like this as well as the county-installed raingardens and bioswales in nearby Westwood and Sunrise Heights a short distance to the east.
Here’s a map showing green-stormwater-infrastructure projects around Seattle and King County.
8:23 PM: Thanks for the tips – we’re headed to the reports of police and a helicopter in The Junction. More when we get there.
8:34 PM: It was the King Co. Sheriff’s Office helicopter Guardian One, and they’ve tweeted that the call was a “possible robbery” at the 76 gas station north of The Junction.
8:39 PM: Police tell our photographer that they are questioning two people right now in connection with what started as a “disturbance.” It was reported as a “verbal disturbance” with the clerk at the gas station. NOT a robbery. No injuries. Guardian One was not called out specifically for this, police tell us – they just happened to be in the area and offered to help search if/as needed.
ADDED 10:28 AM FRIDAY: We requested the police-report narrative and have transcribed it below. (The names were redacted by SPD before releasing the narrative, which is standard procedure for both victim and suspect names in reports.)
Officers responded to the AD Food Mart/76 Station at 4001 California SW, for a report of a strong-arm robbery that had just occurred. The caller reported several suspects in a physical fight with the clerk. Radio also advised there was an open one and they heard what sounded like a slap and the RP cursing and “sounding scared.” The call was updated by Radio that 5 suspects were seen running in the area of California and Dakota. Arriving officers located a group of subjects running in the area of California and Dakota and were able to detain three of them. They reported that the other two suspects fled NB and WB from California/Dakota.
While officers continued to check the area and set up containment for a K9 track, the three detained suspects advised that they had not stolen anything and that the clerk had come at them with a bat. Additional responding officers were directed to the original scene to interview the clerk.
They later advised that there was a substantial language barrier, but they were able to determine that the clerk had recognized the suspects from a previous incident, where items were stolen and a rock was thrown at a store window, causing damage. He reported that the boys had come in the store and became hostile with him when he told them to leave. He said they began yelling and cursing at him. He further reported that one of the suspects had spit on him and that one of them also hit a rock against the window after leaving and then pulled his hand back as if he was going to throw the rock at him through the window.
The victim (name redacted) was transported to the location of the detained suspects for a show-up. He positively identified one of the males (name redacted) as the suspect who spat on him. He also positively identified one of the males (name redacted) as the suspect who had hit the rock against the window and threatened to throw it at the victim. The third male suspect (name redacted) was positively identified by the victim as having been in the store and cursing at the victim, but that was all.
When advised that the victim had identified him as the suspect who had spit on him, (redacted) denied the incident and said the victim might have mistaken him for one of the at-large suspects, who he said looks just like him. (redacted) stated he knew the suspect by the name (redacted) and that he knew him from the Hiawatha Community Center. (redacted) stated they look similar and have the same hairstyle. (redacted) identified the other at-large suspect as a boy he knows as (redacted), also from the Hiawatha Community Center.
After it was determined that a robbery had not occurred, a K-9 track was not conducted. The outstanding suspects were not located.
The report concludes by saying that all three of the juveniles who were detained were turned over to the father of two of them (the mother of the third asked him to bring her son home), and that a sergeant “screened the incident and arrests at the scene.”
Five months after voters passed Sound Transit 3 – a $54 billion package including a promise of light rail to West Seattle by 2030 – agency leaders declared today that they are “pushing the ‘go’ button” on that and other parts of the system expansion. We went downtown this afternoon for a media briefing preceding the Sound Transit board‘s afternoon meeting at which the draft System Expansion Implementation Plan was officially unveiled.
The speakers in our video of the 21-minute briefing were, in order, ST board chair Dave Somers (Snohomish County Executive), CEO Peter Rogoff, and board vice chairs Marilyn Strickland (Tacoma Mayor) and John Marchione (Redmond Mayor).
Though much of what they said involved generalities about the overall plan, we did get some specifics, particularly as they discussed the importance of “collaboration” with the jurisdictions in which they’ll be building. So, we asked, what kind of collaboration is required with/in the city of Seattle? Rogoff offered one example: A single environmental review for West Seattle to Ballard – even though the two segments will not be completed together; Ballard has a five-years-longer timetable (and will require a new tunnel through downtown). Toward that end, ST has already issued a Request For Qualifications for a key role in the West Seattle to Ballard planning – described in the news release accompanying the briefing as “a consultant (who) later this year will support kicking off planning for light rail between West Seattle, Downtown Seattle, and Ballard.” That solicitation is summarized here; bids are due May 17th.
Overall, ST3 will quintuple the size of the transit network, and Rogoff said they are figuring out everything they can do to facilitate and accelerate it – such as co-locating project teams who might otherwise have been spread out between multiple buildings.
Back on Monday night, we reported that SDOT had suddenly announced it was starting outreach for paving projects on SW Roxbury and SW Avalon that could start “as early as 2019.” We promised a followup, after sending some questions back to the SDOT spokesperson Dan Anderson, who sent the announcement, and here’s what we’ve found out: First, we asked why Roxbury and Avalon (with a few blocks of 35th SW immediately south) were next up, as opposed to, say, 35th and/or Delridge.
The factors SDOT considers when prioritizing paving are:
*cost and cost effectiveness of treatment (weighing preservation opportunities against street reconstruction)
*traffic volume (including transit, freight, pedestrian and bicycle)
*grants and other leveraged funding opportunities
*utility coordination and grouping locations for efficiency
*citizen complaints and claims
*equity and geographic balance across the city
A focus of the Move Seattle Levy paving plan is transit. SW Avalon Way is a critical link for high-capacity transit to SW Spokane St and the West Seattle Bridge ramps. On SW Avalon Way, we’re considering reconstructing the portion of the street where the buses operate and resurfacing the remainder, which sees mainly light vehicle traffic. That makes the project attractive from a cost effectiveness standpoint. SW Roxbury St is a busy east-west link for residents in the south part of West Seattle. It is also a critical part of the Westwood Village transit hub routing.
We also asked specifically about the condition of the road in the two areas now planned for repaving “as early as 2019”:
SW Roxbury St is in very poor condition and it ranks at the bottom of major arterials in West Seattle along with 35th Ave SW and Delridge Way SW. SW Avalon Way’s condition is poor, but the rehabilitation is very attractive from a benefit/cost standpoint. With the projects we’re launching now, we’re working to improve SW Roxbury St, SW Avalon Way, and the highest-traffic segment of 35th Ave SW.
A key principal of pavement management is applying the right treatment at the right time, and taking advantage of opportunities to preserve existing pavements, which costs far less (4-7x), rather than allowing streets to deteriorate to a condition level where they need to be reconstructed.
Our Move Seattle Levy paving plan is a balance of preservation, where we extend the life of existing streets with overlays, seals, or panel replacements, and reconstruction of critical corridors. A good example can be seen in SDOT’s 2017 paving plan. We’ll be reconstructing the north end of 3rd Ave downtown in concrete to support the heavy bus traffic there. Meanwhile, on 4th Ave S between S Spokane St and Royal Brougham Way S, we’ll extend the life of the existing pavement structure by removing the old layers of asphalt and resurfacing with new asphalt.
With a long backlog of needs and limited funds, we have to make difficult choices about which streets get paved. We understand that some might feel that 35th Ave SW, Delridge Way SW, or another street should be paved before SW Avalon Way or SW Roxbury St. Those of us who work daily on paving wish there was more funding for paving and wish we could start work tomorrow on every street with a paving need. A large city like Seattle has a lot of competing priorities for limited funding.
Roxbury was originally projected for 2021. So it might be moved up two years. We asked what factors/conditions will determine if it does get moved up.
We have a 9-year paving budget and project list that corresponds to the Levy to Move Seattle funding period. Individual project costs are estimated up-front based on planning-level details and won’t be truly known until contracts are bid and the projects are closed after construction ends. Major projects are bid on and built by private contractors under City oversight. A significant variable in how many projects we can build and when is what contractors will bid. If bids are favorable, we may be able to do more. If not, less. Being a 9-year timeframe, there’s more uncertainty in out years than this year about how much construction costs will fluctuate. There are also unknowns in any major construction project that add to budget after groundbreaking.
Depending on these factors, we may have the right amount of budget for 2019 to pave SW Roxbury St. If not, it would be paved later than 2019.
This project, being a full reconstruction of the street in concrete, will be more expensive and complex than a partial asphalt grind and overlay project like SW Avalon Way. That’s why we’re saying SW Roxbury St is pending funding availability and we’re not for SW Avalon Way.
While we’re talking money – we asked about the cost of these projects. Anderson said Roxbury is estimated at $13.1 million, Avalon at $7.1 million, and the three blocks of 35th south of it at $4.8 million.
So, we asked, what about Delridge? Is any repaving scheduled for the north section (the south half was repaved back in 2013), especially relating to the Route 120 conversion to RapidRide in 2020?
We recognize there are paving needs on Delridge Way SW and are conducting a pavement assessment this summer. We’ll use the report and preferred RapidRide concept to identity paving priorities along the street that are also financially feasible.
That was it for our Q/A, for now. As mentioned in our first report, SDOT says it’ll have community meetings about both the Roxbury and Avalon projects in the next month or so. In the meantime, there’s an online survey about Avalon, here, and one promised soon for Roxbury.
Two months after the mayor first proposed a beverage tax, the plan has been revised – in terms of cost and scope – as announced today:
*1.75 cents per ounce (down from the originally proposed two cents)
*Proposal now would include “naturally and artificially sweetened drinks including soda, energy drinks, juice, and sweetened teas” (more details on this “fact sheet”)
As for what the tax will pay for, Mayor Murray’s announcement today specifies that an expected $18 million to be raised by the tax each year (after $23 million the first year) would go toward:
… education and healthy food programs, including nearly $10 million for the Education Action Plan, a series of programs aimed at eliminating the opportunity gap between white students and African American/Black and other students of color. An additional $5.7 million will fund increased support for children from birth-to-five years old and their caregivers, such as prenatal care. And $3.2 million will fund expanded food access including the Fresh Bucks program, which provides low-income households vouchers for fresh fruits and vegetables at local farmers markets.
Though it’s entirely, maddeningly out of our direct control, we want to apologize for trouble that some people have had, intermittently, getting to WSB the past few days – and might be having today. Once in a while, WSB, like any website, might experience the classic problem of “the server’s down and nobody can get in.” The server manager fixes it, and everything is OK again.
This is something different.
Apparently there’s some kind of intermittent routing problem between Comcast and our longtime server-management company, WiredTree (now owned by LiquidWeb), and so some – but not all – Comcast users have had trouble reaching our server, some – but not all – of the time. It’s affecting some other websites too, we’ve learned. But as far as we have heard, it’s only Comcast – so if you have some other way of seeing us (CenturyLink, phone, etc.), that should be OK. Again, we apologize, and are working to figure out our options if this isn’t fully resolved very soon.
Highlights from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar (where you’ll find even more of what’s up today/tonight):
DINING OUT FOR LIFE: Five West Seattle/White Center restaurants are participating in this year’s dine-out fundraiser to benefit Lifelong:
El Chupacabra Alki (for lunch only)
Noble Barton (White Center)
LOW-LOW TIDE: 12:18 pm, -1.8 feet, excellent for beach walking, especially considering the weather. Even lower the next three days!
RAINWISE CELEBRATION: Come celebrate the RainWise accomplishments at Peace Lutheran Church in Gatewood – and learn about “green stormwater infrastructure” and what it can do for you. 4:30-6:30 pm. (39th SW/SW Thistle)
CHIEF SEALTH INTERNATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL MULTICULTURAL NIGHT: Free food, fun, performances. Doors open at 5, performances start at 6. In the CSIHS Galleria. (2600 SW Thistle)
BEER-TASTING EVENT: 5-8 pm at The Beer Junction, with Lagunitas Brewing. (4511 California SW)
WEST SEATTLE HIGH SCHOOL SPOTLIGHTS MENTAL HEALTH: 6-7:30 pm, all are invited – parents, students, staff, other community members – to a student-led panel discussing mental-health issues and concerns. In the West Seattle High School library. More info in our calendar listing. (3000 California SW)
(added) MAYORAL CANDIDATE CARY MOON’S VIRTUAL TOWN HALL: At 6 pm, you’re invited to join in a “virtual town hall” with mayoral candidate Cary Moon. It had been promoted as RSVP-only, but we asked for the access info, since we don’t publish RSVP-only physical-space events either, and the campaign provided this:
To participate in Cary Moon’s virtual town hall online, click here at 6 PM
To join Cary Moon’s town hall by phone, call 855-756-7520 at 6 PM then enter this code: 35167#
WEST SEATTLE TRANSPORTATION COALITION: 6:30 pm at Neighborhood House High Point, with One Center City – big changes ahead downtown, affecting buses to/from West Seattle too – at the center of the agenda. (6400 SW Sylvan Way)
XOLIE MORRA: 7 pm solo performance at Whisky West. No cover. 21+. (6451 California SW)
‘FROZEN’: 7:30 pm curtain for the Tony-nominated drama at ArtsWest Playhouse. (4711 California SW)
THE DEEP CUTS WITH DJ KINGBLIND: Starting at 8 tonight and every Thursday at Maharajah in The Junction. (4542 California SW)
WEST SEATTLE COMMUNITY GARAGE SALE DAY REGISTRATION DEADLINE: 9 pm TONIGHT is the deadline to sign up your sale, if you’re having one on the 13th annual West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day (Saturday, May 13th) – then we get busy with the map and listings so they’ll be ready a week in advance for shoppers. Here’s where to sign up.
Development notes this morning:
6010 CALIFORNIA WORK UNDER WAY: We first reported almost a year ago that a 95-year-old single-family house at this spot would be replaced with multiple residential buildings totaling seven units. Driving by Wednesday afternoon, we noticed the house is gone and site clearing is under way (photo above). Here’s what city files say the plan is now.
3045 CALIFORNIA: An early-stage plan has just turned up in city files to replace this small commercial building with a new four-story building – the maximum height the site is zoned for – that would have three residential units over ground-floor commercial.
9030 35TH SW: Someone asked us about this long-in-the-works project just a few days ago. Nothing new was in the files then, but today a demolition-permit application has shown up. A mixed-use building with ~40 apartments is proposed to replace two houses here.
And three Design Review notes:
OFFICIAL NOTICE FOR MAY 18 REVIEW OF 4417 42nd SW: We first told you two weeks ago that 4417 42nd SW is scheduled for an Early Design Guidance review before the Southwest Design Review Board on May 18th. Now, the official notice of that meeting is in today’s Land Use Information Bulletin. The project is described as a “4-story apartment building containing 58 units and 4 live-work units,” with 29 offstreet-parking spaces.
STREAMLINED DESIGN REVIEW FOR 4409 44TH SW: Also in The Junction, there’s early word that Streamlined Design Review will be ahead for a project to replace a 108-year-old single-family house with six townhouses. The notice mentions one offstreet-parking space is planned. Streamlined Design Review means no public meeting, but watch for an official public notice at some point.
STREAMLINED DESIGN REVIEW FOR 8802 9TH SW: City files have early word of a three-story, 8-unit townhouse project at this Highland Park site, with 8 offstreet parkings. This also is identified as headed for Streamlined Design Review.
6:39 AM: Good morning! We’ve checked around and so far, no incidents are reported in or from West Seattle.
BRIDGE CLOSURES STARTING NEXT WEEK: Time for reminders about the Fauntleroy Expressway (west end of the West Seattle Bridge) nighttime closures set to start next Monday night (May 1st) for streetlight work – here’s the alert SDOT sent earlier this month.
6:56 AM: SDOT reports a stalled vehicle is blocking the transit lane on NB 99 at Lander.
7:06 AM: While that vehicle has cleared to the side, there’s now a dispatch for a crash on NB 99 in that same area.
7:18 AM: SFD has just cleared that incident, so apparently no one hurt.
7:24 AM: Reader reports pickup truck – stalled? – in the center eastbound lane at the crest of the high bridge. And a bus-trouble report – Russ tweets that the 21s aren’t showing up on 35th SW. (Added: A few minutes later, he says, two did show up.)
7:32 AM: While SFD cleared the newest 99 crash scene, it’s still affecting the right side of NB 99 by Atlantic, as shown on this camera. SPD is still onscene.
8:02 AM: Though no official updates have been provided by SDOT or WSDOT, we’re continuing to watch that camera and the scene hasn’t cleared yet – BUT it looks like a tow truck’s just arrived!
8:26 AM: Via Twitter, Metro reminds us that it’s having an online meeting at 6:30 tonight about its fare-simplification proposals – info’s here.
8:52 AM: One vehicle has remained off to the right at the NB 99/Atlantic crash scene. The webcam now shows what looks like a tow truck finally showing up for it.
9:04 AM: … and that vehicle’s finally being towed away, right now.
ANOTHER NOTE FOR TONIGHT: The West Seattle Transportation Coalition meets at 6:30 pm at Neighborhood House High Point (6400 Sylvan Way SW), with the agenda featuring One Center City – the umbrella name for downtown changes including potential changes for how some West Seattle bus routes get you downtown. Here’s what we first reported about it back in January.