West Seattle, Washington
Thanks to Bruce for the tip via Twitter: Road work has a lane closed on the SB Alaskan Way Viaduct/Highway 99, and that’s backing up traffic, even at this hour. We found the advisory on the right sidebar of this WSDOT page – it says the left lane will be closed between Columbia and Royal Brougham every night through Thursday night/Friday morning, 7 pm-5 am.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Every year, the Chief Sealth International High School PTSA devotes one of its monthly meetings to school safety – talking about procedures, answering questions.
This year, the meeting was held off-campus at Neighborhood House in High Point, where about two dozen people gathered last Wednesday night, including faculty, parents, district managers, and even elected officials with past and future Sealth students in their families.
Teacher Susie Clark organized the meeting and introduced Sealth principal Aida Fraser-Hammer. Safety is about being “prepared to respond to the unthinkable crisis,” the principal said, and about being able to “react to unexpected events in ways that avoid panic and maintain an atmosphere of calmness.”
The countdown continues! The 14th annual West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day is now exactly three months away – Saturday, May 12, 2018 – not one big sale, but instead one big day with sales of all sizes, all over the peninsula. Its founders started WSCGSD in 2005 and turned it over to WSB before the 2008 edition; we’ve been honored to coordinate this big day of in-person community-building every second Saturday in May since then. No, registration isn’t open yet – we usually get that going in early April – watch here on WSB for the announcement, and at westseattlegaragesale.com for updates, as WSCGSD gets closer.
Live/work in South Delridge? You’re invited to check out the South Delridge Community Group at 7 pm tomorrow night at 2 Fingers Social (9211 Delridge Way SW) – a new place, day, and time as the group resumes meetings. All ages are welcome at 2 Fingers until 8 pm, so you can bring your kid(s) to the meeting if you want/need to. Read more about the SDCG by going here.
The latest list of “Only in Seattle” small-business-related grants was announced today by Mayor Durkan, and it includes $10,000 for a West Seattle collaboration. The West Seattle Chamber of Commerce and West Seattle Junction Association are working on what WSJA executive director Lora Swift describes as “an outreach piece connecting new residents to small business in West Seattle.” The grants announced total $1.2 million distributed between 23 neighborhood business districts around the city, as listed here.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
If you have something to say about West Seattle light rail – ANYTHING to say – say it now.
Or should we say, NOW. In capital letters. Shouted.
With the “online open house” that you can use for feedback starting today, and the in-person open house in West Seattle tomorrow, these next three-plus weeks are when your comments, suggestions and concerns matter most in the year-plus process of getting to a “preferred alignment” for the West Seattle line (and Ballard too).
Sound Transit reps have made that point at various meetings (we’ve covered them all) and made it again this morning with a media briefing at their HQ downtown.
So, we asked ST executive Cathal Ridge – who’s been leading all the briefings lately – this is the time to throw out anything and everything you want them to consider?
Yes, he affirmed. “We’re really trying to encourage people to throw out the ideas now and we will evaluate it now … rather than wait a year to bring them up in the environmental process because then we will have wasted a year .. that’s really why we’re making a superhuman push to get out there (and hear from) the public. People often don’t engage in a process until it’s much closer … (but) the only way to meet the timeline is to start the process now. … We want to have people weigh in on the ‘representative alignment’ and also on the purpose of the project – let us know what concerns them about the project, what excites them about the project.”
The “representative alignment,” if you’re just tuning in, is the draft plan that envisions extending light rail this way from a new second station in SODO, across the Duwamish River on a new elevated bridge, continuing, elevated, to The Junction with three West Seattle stations along the way. Here’s ST’s Chris Rule showing it with a Google Earth map at this morning’s briefing, as he’s done at other recent meetings:
When you provide feedback on that and anything else you want to comment on, Sound Transit stresses that this isn’t just about big-picture ideas/concerns. Even the sort of thing that otherwise might not come up until the environmental studies, such as construction or noise impacts – the more they hear now, the better the chances of speeding this thing up (and 2030 is already sped up from the original timeline).
We also asked about the format for the open houses – tomorrow’s is 6:30-8:30 pm at the Masonic Hall in The Junction (4736 40th SW). If you can, get there toward the start, because there will be a presentation at about 6:45 pm. That’ll last about 15 minutes. They don’t expect to have a group Q&A after that – instead, Ridge said, lots of ST staffers will be there for you to ask questions one on one and to take your feedback.
Wondering what happens then? Good question. Feedback from the in-person and online open houses, plus a round of “neighborhood forums” in March, will be collected for an “early scoping report” that then goes to the Stakeholder Advisory Group – whose first meeting we covered last week. They will be involved in “screening,” and in turn providing their feedback to the Elected Leadership Group (whose first meeting we also covered). Then there’ll be second and third rounds of screening before the “preferred alternative” is settled on in spring 2019. Here’s the slate of how that all goes:
The final decision is in the hands of the Sound Transit board, but that’s after all those multiple rounds of feedback. Again – we have to say it again – NOW is the time to get everything out there on the table that you want to say, ask, etc., in the interest of acceleration. Ridge said that “a lot of the delay we’ve had in the past (on other light-rail projects) is when technical issues and stakeholder issues weren’t identified early on” so they have to retrace and redo some steps – “you think you know what you’re doing, and then you run into some kind of roadblock.”
So as distant as 2030 sounds, there’s a lot of deciding to be done right now, but this is the time to speak up.
HOW TO COMMENT: In-person open houses (you can go to the Ballard and downtown ones too – they’re all for the West Seattle to Ballard extensions, which are being planned in tandem though Ballard opens five years after WS):
Tuesday, Feb. 13, 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Alki Masonic Center, 4736 40th Ave. SW Street
Thursday, Feb. 15, 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Leif Erikson Lodge, 2245 NW 57th Street
Tuesday, Feb. 20, 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Union Station, 401 S. Jackson Street
Online ‘open house’: wsblink.participate.online
You can also comment by e-mail – email@example.com – phone (206-903-7229) – and postal mail, c/o Lauren Swift, Sound Transit, 401 S. Jackson St., Seattle 98104
BACKGROUND INFO: Here’s how the project was outlined before the Sound Transit 3 vote in 2016, including some cost information; we’re asking for more and will add it when we get it.
1:06 PM: The photo and report are just in via SPD Blotter:
Officers served a search warrant in West Seattle Sunday morning (and) found hundreds of pills and 19 guns.
Southwest Precinct Anti-Crime Team Officers converged on a home in the 7000 block of 18th Avenue SW Sunday at 10 a.m. and arrested a 28-year-old man as he attempted to flee through the back door of the house.
Officers searched the home and found 189 hydrocodone pills, 276 amphetamine pills, 3.5 grams of methamphetamine, 11 handguns, five rifles – one of which was modified with a bump stock – and three shotguns. Officers placed all of the weapons into evidence pending further investigation.
Officers booked the man into King County Jail for narcotics-related charges and will work with the prosecutor’s office on possible weapons charges.
8:40 PM: According to the jail register, the suspect was released this evening.
Recognize that Cannondale mountain bicycle? Gary says it just turned up in his alley in the Admiral area. Let us know if you have info and we’ll connect you.
If you or someone you know is mobility-challenged and would benefit from a ramp at home, but can’t afford it, the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties wants you to know that its 25th annual Rampathon will be the biggest ever, so right now it’s looking for people to help with “free wheelchair access ramps for families struggling with mobility within their home and from nonprofit organizations whose clients or residents struggle with mobility.” Go here to find out more and apply – deadline is March 2.
Welcome to a new week! Some of what’s up for the rest of your Monday, from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
PAN AFRICAN FESTIVAL: You’re invited to the South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) campus every day this week, 1-3 pm, for events celebrating music, art, history, and more – full list here. (6000 16th SW)
FRIENDS OF ROXHILL ELEMENTARY: 6 pm in the lunch room, tonight’s meeting includes “a special presentation by teacher Mike Popelka on his Fulbright Distinguished Award in Teaching. Last year, Mr. Popelka spent five months in the Netherlands learning about, thinking about and practicing ways to address disparities in education. How might what he learned be applied at Roxhill?” (9430 30th SW)
EVENING BOOK GROUPS: Both at 6:45 pm – West Seattle (Admiral) Library (2306 42nd SW), this month’s title is “Just Mercy” by Bryan Stevenson; at Southwest Library (9010 35th SW), this month’s title is “Mink River” by Brian Doyle.
THERE’S MORE … on our complete-calendar page.
6:54 AM: Good morning! Chilly but dry Monday. No incidents reported in/from West Seattle
Reminders, in case you missed the original reports Friday: Fauntleroy Way/Wildwood reopened Friday afternoon after work concluded early … The school-bus strike is over; after a ratification vote Saturday, drivers were to be back to work today.
7:02 AM: Jim reports that the 16th/Roxbury lights are still flashing red, as they’ve been doing since last night’s outage.
Almost a year and a half after they were chosen for funding, two Neighborhood Street Fund projects proposed by West Seattleites are going out to bid. A notice in today’s Daily Journal of Commerce announces that the city is seeking bids on a package of five NSF projects meant to improve walking and biking safety, two of which are in West Seattle – the Chief Sealth Walkway Improvements and the Harbor Ave. SW/SW Spokane St. Intersection Improvements Project. The notice says bids will be opened March 7th; we’ll be checking with SDOT on the anticipated construction schedule.