West Seattle, Washington
It’s not just November – it’s Movember! Maybe a man you know is taking part in this fundraiser. If not, West Seattleite Mat McBride would be happy to have your support. His before-and-after pics from just the other day:
Ever notice that in the month of November there’s a spike in per-capita mustaches? It’s not a trick of the light, it’s a real thing known as Movember.
Movember, in case you were not aware, is a foundation that raises money for men’s health – specifically prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and mental health/suicide prevention. The last item is why I’m participating this year. A young man I know took his life not too long ago, after some bad luck came his way. This happens too often, it doesn’t have to be that way, and rather than feel powerless about it I’m growing a dang mustache.
Why the mustache? Because people tend to say things like “Dude, what’s up with the ‘Stache?” And then, I’ll tell them. Start a dialog, and maybe raise some money for good causes as well (the Movember Foundation is aiming to reduce the rate of male suicide by 25% by 2030, and I want to help them get there).
You can join Mat’s team – and/or donate to Mat’s team – by going here.
P.S. If you don’t know Mat, he is a prolific community giver/advocate – many current and past projects, including the renovation of the “castle” playground at Roxhill Park, and his continued service as chair of the Delridge Neighborhoods District Council.
As the City Council’s budget review/change process approaches its crescendo, the biggest battles are over items related to homelessness – especially whether to restrict how and whether unauthorized encampments can be removed. An overnight camp-out outside City Hall downtown right now is urging city leaders to “stop the sweeps.” But Mayor Tim Burgess has sent the council a memo – embedded below (we requested and obtained it after seeing citywide outlets’ reports earlier tonight) – saying that would be dangerous.
Some key points in the memo (which you also can read here, in PDF) – first, he begins:
After consulting with Fire Chief Scoggins, Police Chief O’Toole, and Public Health Director Hayes, I want to warn the City Council that adoption of proposed budget proviso GS 240-1-A-1-2018 blocking unauthorized encampment removals will create an elevated public health and safety risk to the people of Seattle. Many of the estimated 400 unauthorized encampments inside the city presently pose health and safety risks to the residents of these encampments and adjacent neighbors. The city government cannot ignore or tolerate these risks.
Advocates say that the removals are inhumane. The mayor counters: “The removal practices being implemented by city workers are humane, well planned, and effective.” His document also contains memos from department heads that further argue the case for removals:
As of Oct. 18, 2017, the Customer Service Bureau has received 4,389 complaints related to unauthorized encampments this year. The current average of 462 complaints a month is on pace to nearly double the total amount of complaints from 2016 (2,719) and quadruple the amount of complaints (1,245) the City received in 2015.
It says the city is having more success moving people to better circumstances:
As of mid-October of this year, the City has removed 143 unauthorized encampments. Through the Navigation Team’s intensive one-on-one engagement, 1,484 individuals have been engaged, with 581 individuals living in encampments accepting referrals to safer living spaces, including people who were required to leave when an encampment was cleaned up, and those who took advantage of City outreach-only efforts.
This 2017 acceptance rate is significantly improved from 2016, when outreach workers made 4,548 contacts and only 213 people accepted offers to move to a safer location.
The department heads’ memo points out that allowing people to live in unsanitary conditions raises the risk of an epidemic like the one with which San Diego is currently grappling:
As recently advised by Public Health – Seattle & King County, an ongoing hepatitis A outbreak in San Diego highlights the sanitation and hygiene concerns. As of mid-October, San Diego reported 18 individuals dead, 386 hospitalized and at least 578 individuals infected. The conditions in San Diego’s unmanaged encampments encouraged the spread of this entirely preventable disease
The document goes into extra detail related to city parks, contending that “prohibiting the removal of unauthorized encampments would open City parks and green space to unauthorized camping.” Listing the potential risks of that, this section mentions the recent peat fire at Roxhill Park and for the first time reveals its cause:
Fire is another hazard for park environs linked to homeless encampments. Residents of homeless encampments often use wood stoves or camp fires for heat and cooking. If left unattended, these fires can burn out of control and burn down camp structures, destroy vegetation and wildlife habitat and endanger people. Additionally, on Oct. 12, 2017, a fire started at the peat bog at Roxhill Park; it was caused by people using sterno cans. An area of 30×40 feet, 7-feet deep, was dug up as the Fire Department sprayed hundreds of gallons of water over a three-hour period to put out the hotspot that reached 150 degrees. Parks staff had to remove several trees to clear a path for SFD.
Also mentioned, “Had it been worse, the 2017 fire at an encampment at the west end of the Spokane
Street viaduct could have resulted in a long-term closure of the West Seattle high bridge.” Back to Parks:
The impact of encampments on parks and SPR park maintenance staff has been significant, and encampments or encampment-related issues have been the primary complaint we receive from the public. SPR crews this year have hauled away tons of trash. Even so, garbage, needles and feces continue to pile up in our natural areas and greenbelts across the city.
Preventing SPR from removing unauthorized encampments from City parks would undermine both the authority of the Superintendent to fulfill his role as steward of public lands and his responsibility to make policy decisions for the park system
The document also says that state grant funding received for many parks might have to be refunded if parks are allowed to be used as encampments, in effect converting them to a “non-park use.” The list of such grant-funded projects includes West Seattle locations such as Don Armeni Boat Ramp, Emma Schmitz Memorial Overlook, Fauntleroy Park, Longfellow Creek, Puget Creek, Roxhill Park, E.C. Hughes, Ercolini Park, and the Alki Trail. Restricting removal, the memo says, could also mean “SPR would need to establish dedicated camping zones in a significant portion of City parks and greenspaces.”
The exact document to which the mayor refers at the start of his memo was presented last week – see it here – then amended before Councilmember Lisa Herbold presented her “initial balancing package” earlier this week as budget chair. The new version focuses on accountability rather than defunding. But nothing’s final for a few more weeks.
Next steps in the budget process, if councilmembers want changes in what was presented this week, they have to get them in by tomorrow afternoon. Changes will then be discussed next week. If you have feedback, firstname.lastname@example.org is the address.
From tonight’s Southwest District Council meeting, just wrapped up at the Sisson Building/Senior Center:
FAUNTLEROY REZONE A ‘MONSTER’? Mike Dey and Bruce Butterfield from the Fauntleroy Community Association board told the SWDC they’re working to find out more about the proposed rezone at 9250 45th SW (first reported on WSB earlier this week) to facilitate a 5-story, 32-residential-unit project. They noted how the Endolyne Triangle, where the building is located, had transportation/traffic improvements recently – including the change of Brace Point to one-way on the south side. They are trying to set up a meeting with the property owners “to see if we can find out more detail about what they are proposing,” said Dey.
The days are getting shorter, and lighting matters more than ever – especially at transit stops. But the very-long-awaited lighting improvements for the area along the north side of Roxhill Park aren’t in place yet, even though the other part of the project – an upgraded sidewalk – is complete. Community advocate Amanda Kay, who fought for the improvements as a founder and co-chair of the Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Coalition, asked Metro why. The explanation arrived this week: The four “pedestrian-scale” lights that were to be installed were damaged during shipping. So they’re now awaiting replacements. They’re hoping to have the lights in place before the end of the month, along the stretch between the layover area and the passenger waiting area.
Leaves, branches, whatever you’re cleaning up so it can be picked up, Seattle Public Utilities says you can set out extra bags/containers of yard waste throughout November … free, with a few rules that you can see here. Main goal: Keeping storm drains clear of leaves, to minimize flooding risk during heavy rain.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
There’s strength in numbers.
And knowledge is power.
With those truths in mind, bringing Delridge business owners together is a logical next step now that results of a recent survey are assembled and analyzed.
The results were presented last week at a gathering inside one of Delridge’s newer businesses, the beer garden/taproom Ounces (about to celebrate its first anniversary at 3809 Delridge Way SW). Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association and the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce worked with consultant David Daw on the survey.
The questions showed optimism and opportunities as well as concerns. As DNDA’s Willard Brown explained, “A big part of it was a need to figure out what the business owners wanted, from their perspective.”
(As noted in our previous coverage, the survey area did not stretch into South Delridge, so technically, it’s the North Delridge Business Survey.)
Above (or here, in PDF) you can see the final results. Backstory and highlights were part of the recent presentation:
You might have known Lance C. Kerwin from Chelan Café, one of two places where his life will be celebrated this Saturday (November 4th). Details are at the end of this remembrance sent to us to share with the community:
Lance Christopher Kerwin was born on July 21, 1965 and passed away on October 24, 2017 from an acute infection of the abdomen caused by liver disease.
Lance grew up in Arbor Heights in West Seattle, attended Arbor Heights Elementary, Denny Junior High, and Rainier Beach HS. As a boy he was active at Arbor Heights Swim Club, he played baseball, soccer, wrestled, and played guitar. He was a paperboy and his first job was at Shakey’s Pizza in West Seattle.
In later years Lance enjoyed bowling, darts, karaoke, going to the casino, and playing cards; he liked cooking and going out to eat. He liked music, loved to dance, liked going to plays and concerts. He also liked to watch the Seahawks and Huskies, reruns of Law & Order, NCIS, and Charmed. Lance loved his cat Sambo.
Lance spent 35 years in the food and beverage service industry at various places in West Seattle, bartending, cooking, and managing, most recently at Chelan Café. He enjoyed working and had a strong work ethic.
He had a sarcastic sense of humor and liked to give people a hard time, but those who knew him, knew he cared. Lance was very generous and loyal and loved his family and friends. Lance, we will all miss you very much.
Lance is survived by his parents Ken and Dale Kerwin; siblings Kendal (John) Hines, Todd (Juanita) Kerwin, Brett Kerwin, and Maria Kerwin; 8 nieces and nephews, Tony, Kayla, Jeffrey, Jack, Joey, Olivia, Adam, and Rosie; great-nephew and -niece Lincoln and Marley; his best friend Jan; the Blayney family; and many other family members and friends. Lance was preceded in death by his partner Tony Hood.
A Memorial Service for Lance will be held on Saturday, November 4, 2017, 1:00 pm at Greenwood Memorial Park Funeral Home, 350 Monroe Ave NE in Renton. A Celebration of Lance’s Life will continue at 3:00 pm at Chelan Café, 3527 Chelan Ave SW in West Seattle. Please visit greenwoodmempark.com to offer condolences or share fond memories with Lance’s family.
(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to email@example.com)
For almost 10 years, Verity Credit Union has been on the verge of opening a West Seattle branch. And next year, they really will.
That’s what CEO John Zmolek told WSB this morning. We talked with him after contacting Verity to confirm that it’s taking over the storefront in the West Seattle Junction recently vacated by Radio Shack (4505 California SW).
Yes, right next door to another financial institution (Chase). Isn’t that a little unusual? we asked. Zmolek agrees it is, while saying, “in some ways we think it just contrasts the difference between what banks do and what credit unions can do in a community.” Such as, because credit unions are co-ops, they “keep the money in the community” rather than “siphoning off part of their funds to go to stockholders.”
Verity will be the third credit union to open a new location in West Seattle – all in The Junction (after BECU at The Whittaker [WSB sponsor] and Sound CU at 4730 California) – in xxx. With so much banking happening online, why even open a physical branch? Zmolek says he believes people are still more comfortable making financial decisions – especially major ones like buying a home and investing – after talking with reps face to face. Zmolek says it will also help Verity keep in closer touch with the community rather than “guessing from an ivory tower … or my office.”
As also seems to be a new trend, this branch will not be the traditional stand-in-line-at-a-window. Verity’s forthcoming announcement says it “will feature member service consultants who are untethered from bulky desks and teller lines to serve members from anywhere in the branch with wireless tablets.” The Ballard and Greenwood branches are currently set up that way.
The CEO also says they hope to offer the branch space for community gathering, maybe even opening it – without staff – during the Farmers’ Market, with a front wall that can be “folded back.”
Meantime, the branch will have an ATM (Verity belongs to the Co-Op network, serving members of many other credit unions). Due to the city’s permit-process backlog, they’re not expecting to be able to start work on the space until next spring, opening the branch next summer.
–Tracy Record, West Seattle Blog editor
(Pigeon guillemot in winter plumage, photographed by Mark Wangerin)
From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar and inbox:
BABY STORY TIME: 11:30 am-noon at High Point Library. For babies up to a year old. (35th SW/SW Raymond)
CITY COUNCIL BUDGET HEARING: Something to say about the budget that the City Council is in the midst of shaping – what you do or don’t want it to include? The last major public hearing in this year’s process is tonight at City Hall downtown. Two unrelated hearings precede it, so it’s expected to start around 5:50 pm – see the agenda here. (600 4th Ave.)
SKELETON THEATRE, NIGHT 2: Missed it on Halloween? See the animatronic show tonight, scheduled for continuous performances 6-9 pm. Here’s our report from last night. (36th SW/SW Hanford)
JUST IN – FAUNTLEROY REZONE @ SW DISTRICT COUNCIL: On Monday, we broke the news of an early-stage proposal to rezone a site in the center of Fauntleroy’s Endolyne district for a proposed 5-story mixed-use building. We just received the agenda for tonight’s Southwest District Council meeting, and two board members from the Fauntleroy Community Association are scheduled to talk about it. The meeting is at 6:30 pm at the Senior Center of West Seattle; other agenda items are in our calendar listing. (4217 SW Oregon)
KENNEDY CATHOLIC HS OPEN HOUSE: 6:30-8:30 pm at John F. Kennedy Catholic High School (WSB sponsor) in Burien, prospective families are invited to visit to find out more about the school. The schedule for the event is here. (140 S. 140th St.)
MONDAY NIGHT TRIVIA: At 8:30 pm, hosted by Phil Tavel, at Talarico’s Pizza in The Junction. (4718 California SW)
LOTS MORE! on our complete calendar.
Chief Sealth International High School sends a big thank you to our wonderful community for sending in donations of gently used clothing, school supplies, and toiletries. Your generosity helps our homeless, foster, and low-income students.
We’re currently looking for donations of:
new socks of all kinds — athletic, men’s & women’s dress, warm and casual
new women’s panties and men’s boxer-briefs in all sizes
new or gently used hooded sweatshirts, raincoats, and winter coats
new or gently used gloves and mittens
new or gently used athletic pants and shorts
business wear for young women — blazers, skirts, dress pants, dresses and tops
business wear for young men — suits, jackets, white shirts and ties
You may drop off donations at the school office Mondays – Fridays, 8 am – 4:30 pm. If you have any questions, please email Lisa Conley, parent volunteer, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for thinking of our students!
Chief Sealth IHS is at 2600 SW Thistle.
7:02 AM: SDOT is still working on its camera access so we have the WSDOT cameras again today. No incidents reported in/from West Seattle so far.
TIME REMINDER: Early Sunday morning (late Saturday night), we “fall back” an hour to Standard Time.