West Seattle, Washington
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Over its decade-plus history, Sustainable West Seattle has launched and/or nurtured a multitude of community-enhancing projects.
SWS also supports West Seattle Meaningful Movies, the West Seattle Timebank, Hate-Free Delridge, and more, as listed by president Stu Hennessey toward the start of last night’s SWS meetup at the Senior Center/Sisson Building in The Junction.
But even more than projects and programs … the biggest change can be made in cumulative small actions by people who care, and that was the theme.
Almost every day, our calendar listings feature cool free programs you can enjoy at local Seattle Public Library branches. This past Sunday, we were invited to stop by the High Point Library to photograph one of them – a workshop about “E-Textiles.”
Participants learned how to use sewing machines – and how to add electronic components to their projects:
The result could be, for example, a T-shirt with embedded lights. Checking the library system’s Calendar of Events, we note that a shorter, kid-geared “e-textiles” session is planned as part of Tinkerlab, at the West Seattle (Admiral) Library, 2:30-4 pm March 21st.
The West Seattle Bee Garden in High Point is headed for spring – in need of a bit of help. From Lauren Englund:
We’ve lost our handyman at the WS Bee Garden, who is moving back home to the midwest. With a few small projects on the horizon (replacing a broken sign, and fixing a piece of broken plexiglas protecting the mosaic) we’re in need of a volunteer with some basic building/carpentry skills.
If you might be able to help – here’s how to contact Lauren.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
“Whatever the legitimate reasons for this bill, those reasons will forever be overshadowed by the fact that this was crafted behind closed doors without any benefit of sunshine.”
That’s what the League of Women Voters says in its analysis of SB 6617, the public-records bill that passed the state Legislature at lightning speed a few days ago and is now the subject of a campaign to urge a veto by Governor Inslee.
The latest voices calling for a veto include our area’s King County Councilmember Joe McDermott (a former legislator himself). He and fellow County Councilmember Reagan Dunn sent the governor this letter today:
That puts him on the side opposing the stance of our area’s three current state legislators – Sen. Sharon Nelson (the Maury Island-residing Senate Majority Leader) and West Seattle-residing Reps. Eileen Cody and Joe Fitzgibbon – all of whom voted to approve it.
We asked them all for comment/explanation today, and have received two responses. But before we get to that – if you haven’t heard about this bill, let alone the uproar surrounding it, we refer again to the LWV’s analysis for a summary:
While the headlines focus on the fact that the bill states the legislature is exempt from the official Public Records Act (PRA), the next statement is “the legislature is subject to separate disclosure requirements.” The bill then goes on to establish a number of specific requirements regarding public records that do not currently exist in law. These include the release of calendars, names of those met with and communication with lobbyists. None of this is required under current law, nor has it been part of general practice. What is specifically exempted is personal correspondence with constituents, which often contains very personal Information.
But that’s no excuse for the rush job, the LWV notes. And other outcry includes a particularly loud voice, The Seattle Times, which made this the subject of a first-in-its-history front-page editorial today. Times As editorial-page editor Kate Riley described it, they are opposed to the bill because it “slams the door to government records a judge said the public should have access to.” Riley’s report quotes Times publisher Frank Blethen as saying, “In the 37 years I have served as a publisher in our state, I have never seen as blatant or dangerous an attack on your right to know than the inexplicable attempt of bipartisan legislative leadership in Olympia to essentially keep you from knowing what they are doing.”
Public-records access is the lifeblood of what our business calls “accountability journalism.” Obtaining them isn’t easy, but the fact they are legally supposed to be made available can at the very least be considered something of a check on power. And in this time when there are fewer people in the journalism business, due to a long list of factors, many are disturbed by anything constraining the ability to get public records.
Now, to what our legislators have to say. We sent requests for comment to all three this morning. We have not heard back from Sen. Nelson or her staff. Reps. Cody and Fitzgibbon have both sent lengthy responses, and we are publishing both in their entirety, after the jump, along with contact info – his response first, because we received it first:
During his appearance at last Thursday’s West Seattle Transportation Coalition meeting (WSB coverage here), King County Council chair Joe McDermott mentioned the imminent start of construction for the Lander Street Bridge project south of downtown, and Metro bus rerouting ahead as a result. That led to some comment discussion, and we promised to follow up. Here’s what Metro spokesperson Scott Gutierrez can tell us so far:
Metro routes 21, 37, 50, 116, 118 and 119 will have scheduled routing revisions for the duration of the South Lander Street project. These changes will be considered the regular routes and will take effect with the March 10 service change. Information will be posted soon on Metro’s website and will be part of all related data and timetables.
In general, routes will be revised to operate in both directions on First Avenue South between South Lander St and Edgar Martinez Drive South, and on Edgar Martinez Dr between First Ave South and Fourth Avenue South.
Customers who ride these routes should watch for temporary reroutes before, during or after major stadium events. We also encourage customers to sign up for Transit Alerts.
We’re checking with SDOT for timeline information beyond what Metro mentioned.
11:31 AM: Thanks for the tips about police activity outside the Highland Park 7-11. That helped us zero in on the source of some scanner traffic about an arrest – and now we’ve just obtained more information from SPD media-relations Det. Mark Jamieson (officers at the scene declined comment). He says the white Escalade in the photo was suspected in connection with a West Seattle burglary this morning and a non-West Seattle burglary yesterday (in South Precinct jurisdiction); an officer spotted it, called for backup, and a “felony stop” (which usually means guns drawn) was made in the 7-11 parking lot. They arrested a suspect and impounded the vehicle, pending a search warrant. More details are expected to be made public a bit later, police tell us, so look for another update.
ADDED 1:36 PM: SPD Blotter‘s report notes that an “observant neighbor” is to thank:
A neighbor called 911 Tuesday at 8:45 a.m. after she spotted a man attempting to break into a home in the 1200 block of SW Othello Street. The witness continued to update dispatchers as officers were responding to the home and described a white Cadillac Escalade driving away from the home.
The King County Sheriff’s Guardian One helicopter was in the area and spotted the SUV leaving the neighborhood. The pilot directed officers to the vehicle in the 1600 block of Southwest Holden Street. Seattle police officers took the 23-year-old into custody and have turned him over to burglary detectives. Detectives believe the suspect may be responsible for an additional burglary in the area this week. Detectives will book the suspect into King County Jail for investigation of burglary.
ADDED 2:58 PM: According to a separate online update from the South Precinct’s commander, the non-West Seattle burglary yesterday was in the 10100 block of Rainier Ave S. The victims, who were home, provided police with a plate number, so that’s how police knew what/who they were looking for.
Thought-provoking presentations and chances to learn are part of the highlights for the rest of today/tonight, from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
AFTERSCHOOL MEALS: Just a periodic reminder that Kids’ Café afterschool meals are available at High Point Library, 2:45-3:30 pm, to anyone under 18. (35th SW/SW Raymond)
(added) DINE-OUT FUNDRAISER: Go to Puerto Vallarta in The Junction between 3 pm and 11 pm, tell them you’re dining out for Seattle Lutheran High School, and SLHS gets 20 percent of proceeds. (4727 California SW)
REVIEW SOUTH PARK’S YOUR VOICE, YOUR CHOICE SUGGESTIONS: 6-8 pm at South Park Community Center, you’re invited to help evaluate the area’s suggestions for Your Voice, Your Choice park/street-grant money – check this map to see what’s suggested and where. (8319 8th Ave. S.)
THE OPIATE EPIDEMIC – WHAT FAMILIES NEED TO KNOW: The mother of a 20-year-old who died of a drug overdose has important information for families, 6:30 pm at Our Lady of Guadalupe‘s Walmesley Center. All welcome. (35th SW/SW Myrtle)
LEARN ABOUT ‘CRIME PREVENTION THROUGH ENVIRONMENTAL DESIGN’: Be at tonight’s West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network meeting for a CPTED presentation by Southwest Precinct Crime Prevention Coordinator Jennifer Danner. All welcome, whether you’re in a Block Watch or not. 6:30 pm at the precinct. (2300 SW Webster)
ROXHILL PARK’S FUTURE: 6:30 pm at Southwest Library, be part of planning how the Park Commons program could bring a brighter future to Roxhill Park. (9010 35th SW)
JONATHAN KAUFFMAN @ WESTSIDE SCHOOL: The award-winning writer speaks about his new “Hippie Food” book in a Town Hall Seattle presentation at Westside School, 7:30 pm. Ticket info’s in our listing. (10404 34th SW)
THERE’S MORE … on our complete-calendar page.
Just three days until your chance to dance, dine, and play, while raising money for students! If you haven’t already seen this in the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
Spring is nearly in the air and it is time to secure your place at the West Seattle High School Spring Swing Dance. Mark your calendars for Friday, March 2, 6:30 PM, in the WSHS Commons. This event features musical performances from the West Seattle Big Band, WSHS Jazz Ensembles and new this year, our orchestra! Delicious appetizers and desserts prepared by WSHS culinary arts students will be served. Also enjoy fun games, dollar raffle and raffle for exciting themed Gift Baskets. Dancing is encouraged but not required.
Save some money and purchase your tickets online (deadline is Wednesday). Tickets are $20 (plus $ 0.56 processing fee) for adults (online), $25 at the door. Student tickets are $10 and available at the door. Game bracelets will be $5 at the event.
WSHS is at 3000 California SW.
6:56 AM: Good morning! No incidents reported in/from West Seattle so far this morning.
WATER TAXI: Last week’s damage to the Vashon vessel Sally Fox is now fixed and as of the Monday pm commute, KCDOT tells us, it was back on the island run, with Doc Maynard returning to the West Seattle run.
SUNDAY MORNING HIGHWAY 99 ALERT: The Battery Street Tunnel and points north will be closed for a while Sunday morning because of the Hot Chocolate run – details here.
10:08 AM: Report of a semitruck stalled on one northbound lane of the South Park Bridge. Otherwise, quiet morning until now – we always appreciate your traffic and breaking-news tips 24/7 at 206-293-6302, text or voice.