West Seattle, Washington
Three notes on what remains the most-discussed issue of the day:
This panel is being created in response to local concerns, creating a common understanding of homelessness, the challenges some may face accessing housing, and ways we can help. Speaking on the panel will be Ruth Herold, Executive Director, Elizabeth Gregory Home; Polly Trout, Ph.D., Founder, Patacara Community Services; and a member of Camp Second Chance’s leadership team. The panel is moderated by Gunner Scott, Chair of HPAC.
Goals for the discussion include dispelling stereotypes, demystify homelessness, and to lay the groundwork for greater communication, understanding and involvement between all neighbors – housed and unhoused. There will be time for Q & A.
Everyone is welcome.
(Camp Second Chance is the encampment just inside the entrance to the Myers Way Parcels.) HPAC meets at Highland Park Improvement Club, 12th SW/SW Holden.
MAYOR’S PROPOSALS: As the City Council tabled its discussion of changing the “protocols” for encampments – when and where they can and can’t be removed – Mayor Ed Murray went public last Friday night with details on his interim plan. If you haven’t yet read about it, here’s the news release; here’s the plan. Some details are still pending, such as what locations will be proposed for the four sanctioned encampments the mayor wants to set up to get hundreds of people out of unsanctioned ones.
COUNCILMEMBER HERBOLD’S THOUGHTS: Last Thursday night, City Councilmember Lisa Herbold was a late addition to the agenda at the Alki Community Council. She talked extensively about the ongoing budget process, and then was asked about the encampment-legislation controversy, which she acknowledged was a “flashpoint.” Our notes: Read More
7:02 AM: A big Seattle Fire response is on the way to a house near 12th SW and SW Cloverdale. The first unit arriving says it’s a “small kitchen fire.”
7:08 AM: SFD confirms it’s a kitchen fire, put out quickly, and is downgrading the call, though you’ll still see several fire units there for a while.
7:18 AM: Our crew is there and has talked to SFD, which says no one was hurt. Units are continuing to wrap up and depart. We’ve added a photo, above.
10:21 PM: Via text and scanner, we heard reports of “shots or fireworks” in Riverview/Highland Park a few minutes ago. Police headed to the area to check them out and heard some after arrival; they’ve told dispatch what they heard sounded like “firecrackers.” Any time you hear what you think might be shots, by the way, police have said over and over at community meetings, they want you to call it in – the more calls they get, the better their chances of figuring out the location/source.
10:55 PM: Now police are off to check out another report, four possible shots heard in the 1000 block of SW Portland.
There’s NO indication this is linked to the “creepy clown threat” outbreak, but a Highland Park Elementary parent shared this with us and we’re republishing so that nearby residents can help keep watch too:
Hello Highland Park Families,
Today [Tuesday] at recess some Highland Park Students reported seeing a suspicious person on the playfield adjacent to our playground. This person was not seen by any adults, and we contacted our security department. Security came to our campus and stayed until dismissal. All students were safe at all times, we just wanted you to be aware of the report.
We get some but not all alerts from the district and schools’administrators, so we very much appreciate forwarded info like this if you don’t see a timely mention on WSB after receiving something of potentially wider interest – firstname.lastname@example.org – thank you!
Will the former Seattle City Light substation at 16th/Holden get rezoned as requested? The potential next step was a late addition to the agenda at Wednesday night’s Highland Park Action Committee meeting:
(Aerial-photo graphic via Seattle City Light)
EX-SUBSTATION REZONING? City Councilmember Lisa Herbold was a surprise guest to talk about the latest regarding this community-instigated proposal for the former Dumar substation in the heart of Highland Park’s main business district. As noted here last year, there had been suggestions that it should become commercial to complement the other three corners of the 16th/Holden intersection.
Herbold went through the options in the report she had received after asking that it be evaluated.
(Map of outage area, from Seattle City Light website)
12:38 AM: Thanks for the texts: Seattle City Light‘s outage map says more than 3,500 homes/businesses have lost power, mostly in southeast West Seattle and White Center. No word yet on the cause.
12:53 AM: The map now has the “estimated restoration” time of 7 am, but we always add the reminder, that’s a guesstimate and it could be much sooner, or much later. SCL is still investigating the cause.
1:15 AM: Commenter SteveMG reports seeing SCL and emergency responders in the 8th/Roxbury vicinity.
1:18 AM: We’re getting some reports of power restored – mostly from South Delridge. No change in the outage-map total yet but sometimes it lags.
1:25 AM: Now the map’s caught up with the restoration reports – 294 customers (homes/businesses) still without power, in White Center. Here’s the updated map:
1:36 AM: Along with SteveMG, a commenter on our partner site White Center Now also mentions what seemed like an underground “explosion” at 8th/Roxbury. Here’s what SCL tweeted about the cause, without mentioning a specific location:
Crews have identified an equipment failure in an underground vault as the cause for the White Center-W. Seattle outage.
— Seattle City Light (@SEACityLight) August 31, 2016
6:27 AM: Power has since been fully restored.
Heads up if you use Highland Park Way SW in the W. Marginal Way SW vicinity – SDOT has announced repaving work for the area tomorrow and Wednesday:
From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, August 30 and Wednesday, August 31, travelers can expect the following:
SDOT will grind and repave Highland Park Way SW from W Marginal Way to SW Myrtle St.
The eastbound lanes will be closed. West and eastbound travel will be available on the north side of Highland Park Way SW.
Travelers may enter and exit driveways, but may have to wait up to 15 minutes for equipment to clear.
There will be no parking in the work zone.
Police officers will help with traffic control at the intersection Highland Park Way SW at W Marginal Way.
This project is part of SDOT’s 2016 Arterial Major Maintenance (AMM) program. The AMM program maintains our busiest streets by making strategic small scale investments at key locations on city streets.
Though the city alert describes this as “South Park,” it’s part of West Seattle.
Folklore Nicaragua, at 1st-ever Festival Centroamericano today at Westcrest Park. Video by Leda Costa for WSB pic.twitter.com/jPuQdbfFFM
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) August 28, 2016
(Video and photos by Leda Costa for WSB)
4:25 PM: You still have time to get to the first-ever Festival Centroamericano, scheduled until 7 pm at Westcrest Park in Highland Park! Photojournalist Leda Costa is covering it for WSB, starting with the video above, from Folklore Nicaragua‘s performance, so we’ll have photos later – but for now, go celebrate Central American culture in person, via music, dance, food, and more. The park’s at 9000 8th SW.
ADDED 11:20 PM: As promised, more photos:
While the dancing was popular, the food was an even-bigger draw, with long lines, and some vendors selling out. This is Lucero Teofilo, whose mother Rosia runs Franci’s Fresh Fruit:
Emceeing the event, Edgardo Armando Franco, known as “El General.” Also onstage were singers including Alfredo Chavez, who, before singing, offered a lesson in the art of the Panamanian Saloma, something like yodeling.
Below, holding the Guatamalan flag, that’s Kirby Fralick at right, posing with his friends from Chapines en Seattle, one of the vendor booths at the festival:
Another booth featured handmade Nicaraguan dolls by Inmaculada Cruz:
More festival scenes:
Mercedes Gonzalez, from Panama:
Organizers say this is not only our area’s first festival celebrating Central American culture, but the first one in our state, and they hope to do it again next year.
A first-of-its-kind festival is happening in West Seattle this Sunday! Here’s the announcement we received for Festival Centroamericano, coming to Westcrest Park:
The first festival in Seattle that is dedicated to learning and sharing the cultural expressions from Central America, the Festival Centroamericano, will bring together members of the various Seattle Neighborhoods that are from Central America or have family from the seven Central American countries (Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama).
Embracing our Central American heritage and culture to a community that is not well exposed to it can also offer a great opportunity to learn something new especially with the different ethnic groups (Indigenous, African, Mestizo, Latino) that are involved in the festival. The organization will unite the different ethnic groups from each of the Central American countries to exchange cultures and learn from one another.
The Festival Centroamericano will be a family-oriented and free-for-the-public event, therefore, everyone is welcome to experience a Central American community at Westcrest Park, 9000 8th Ave SW on August 28 from 11AM to 7PM. The festival will have live performances and vendors providing food, art, information, other great services, and more!
Think it’s calm out there this afternoon? Not for a few moments just before 4 pm at Highland Park playground, according to someone who called us. A “whirlwind” swept through, picking up and swirling wood chips in the air. Nobody was hurt but, the caller said, it was startling, to say the least. We asked the National Weather Service about this via Twitter; they hadn’t heard anything, but then Marcia joined the conversation, saying, “It was CRAZY! Blankets and clothes went flying in the air. Someone lost their kite!” The NWS says it sounds like a “whirlwind/dust devil” – apparently these can and do happen anywhere.
After last week’s June meeting of the Highland Park Action Committee, we published our first report, on the vote to send the city a letter about the proposed sale of what’s known as the Myers Way Parcels. Next step toward a decision on their future is the community meeting about the site this Thursday, 6:30 pm, at the Joint Training Facility (9401 Myers Way S.).
But the Myers matter was far from the only topic HPAC tackled at this month’s meeting. Here are the rest of our toplines:
TRAFFIC TROUBLE SPOTS AND SDOT: Will the worst intersections in HP ever get fixed?
Hot real-estate market? Bidding wars? Not necessarily, if the property in question is a former Seattle City Light substation.
MAJOR PRICE REDUCTION is splashed across the cover of the just-revised brochure for the city-owned former substation that’s up for sale on Pigeon Point (2100 SW Andover). We found the flyer after spotting the price cut in a routine check of local commercial-real-estate listings. The 8,000-square-foot site was originally put up for sale almost four months ago for a “minimum bid of $400,000.” It’s zoned for lowrise housing.
And while we were checking on that one, we scrolled further down the latest West Seattle commercial-real-estate listings and found the same thing has happened to the ex-substation that’s for sale in south Highland Park (8820 9th SW) – revised flyer dated yesterday, also with the big red banner MAJOR PRICE REDUCTION.
This one also has been cut to $200,000 asking price – a more-drastic slash, since its asking price in March was $500,000 – and it’s even bigger: 13,000+ square feet, zoned for lowrise housing.
This is of extra interest as the city looks at selling other “surplus” real estate such as the Myers Way Parcels (reminder: community meeting this Thursday) and also because at the time the City Council approved the sale of these two ex-substations, they also outlined conditions for community groups’ prospective purchases of others. Would those potential sales be held to the “fair market” value – aka appraised value, which in the case of these two substations is well above what they’re now being offered for? We’ll be following up with the city Finance and Administrative Services Department, which is in charge of real estate.
WEDNESDAY UPDATE: SDOT confirmed that this is 8th S. work, not 8th SW as first announced.
TUESDAY UPDATE: See comments – this appears to be on 8th S., not 8th SW as announced – we will be verifying Wednesday with SDOT.
ORIGINAL MONDAY REPORT: After SDOT paving workers finish on SW 106th in Arbor Heights later this week, they’re headed for 8th SW in Highland Park. Just announced:
The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) advises travelers in West Seattle that crews will be paving 8th Avenue SW between SW Barton Street and SW Cambridge Street [map]. This work is weather dependent.
From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on (UPDATE) Thursday, June 30 and Friday, July 1, travelers can expect the following:
· Crews will grind and repave 8th Ave SW between SW Barton St and SW Cambridge St.
· The southbound lane of 8th Ave SW between SW Barton St and SW Cambridge St will be closed.
· North-south traffic will alternate in the northbound lane, assisted by flaggers.
· Parking on 8th Ave SW will be restricted – “No Parking” signs will be in place 72 hours before the work starts and parking restrictions begin.
· Access to and from driveways on 8th Ave SW between SW Barton St and SW Cambridge St may be delayed for up to 15 minutes for equipment to clear.
SDOT would like to thank the public for its patience while this work is completed. This project is part of SDOT’s 2016 Arterial Major Maintenance (AMM) program. The AMM program maintains our busiest streets by making strategic small scale investments at key locations on city streets.
Friday is the last day of classes for Seattle Public Schools – and at Highland Park Elementary, today was Field Day, a tradition at many elementaries in the final days of the school year. PE teacher Chellie LaFayette invited WSB to stop by and see what they were up to (that’s her in the hat, below):
In the morning, the younger students were out enjoying the (fleeting) sunshine:
That included a chance to do some splashing:
The older students got their turn in the afternoon. Tomorrow, by the way, school gets out one hour early around the district.
Two West Seattle Crime Watch reports tonight:
STOLEN CAR: Rebecca‘s neighborhood in Gatewood has been hit again by car thieves. Her car was taken two months ago; we published her report, and an observant neighbor spotted the car nearby. Tonight, she says, two sisters visiting the neighborhood reported someone stole their car just feet from where Rebecca’s was taken in the 3900 block of SW Elmgrove [map]. It’s a 2009 Nissan Versa, baby blue, WA plate ending in 632, “trim near driver-side door hands loose near keyhole.” Call 911 if you see it.
DOORSTEP THEFT: In the 9000 block of 4th SW [map], Sheila reports a doorstep theft last night:
Our neighbor returned a car battery recharger he borrowed, left it on the front step at 10 pm. We have video of a man quickly walking up the front walk at about 11:20, grabbing the small pouch with the charger in it, and walking quickly away. I’ve reported to police. … The guy was wearing a hat so can’t see his face. Short, apparently dark hair is best we’ve been able to make out. Coat with bright tape (like safety jacket) and high-top sneakers.
P.S. Reminder – this month’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting is next Tuesday (June 21st), 7 pm, at the Southwest Precinct (2300 SW Webster; map).
P.P.S., ADDED FRIDAY MORNING: WSCPC president Richard Miller tells WSB that the guest on Tuesday will be SPD’s Chief Operating Officer Brian Maxey, who will be able to speak about the operations of the 911 Center, among other topics.
Just in case you were wondering – after a breakdown yesterday, the Highland Park Spraypark is back up and running today, in time for what’s expected to be an even hotter afternoon/evening than yesterday. We just went over to check firsthand, and that’s what we found. (We won’t be able to find out from Seattle Parks what caused yesterday’s problem until tomorrow.)
3:58 PM: We’ve received two reader reports that Highland Park Spraypark is out of service so we’re sharing the news here before anyone else heads that way and is disappointed. We’re trying to find an after-hours number for Seattle Parks to see if we can find out whether help is on the way; we’ll check at the park shortly, too, and will update when we get word it’s working again.
5:15 PM: Not fixed yet.
SATURDAY NIGHT NOTE: We never did get word on its status before official closing time but will check as close as we can to 11 am opening time on Sunday.
Thanks to Highland Park Elementary PTA president Holly Briscoe for photos and a report on “an exciting event” at the school Friday morning:
Cristian Roldan, Seattle Sounders FC Midfielder, came to HPE for the morning assembly. He was there to help the school celebrate the successful completion of their Breakfast Challenge, which is a part of the Fuel Your Future campaign.
The campaign is a joint effort between United Way and the Seattle Sounders to help reduce food-insecurity. School Nurse Tina Urso worked to bring both the campaign and Cristian to HPE. Go, Sounders!
Thanks to the texter who tipped us about police with “armored vehicles” in the 8800 block of 14th SW. We got there just as they were wrapping up; turned out to be Bellevue Police again, saying they could only tell us they were “serving a warrant.” You might recall our report about BPD at another Highland Park location (9400 block of 9th SW) back in April; two days later, they announced that was linked to an “ID theft ring.” We just talked to BPD’s PIO and he said he does NOT believe this investigation is related to that one, but he can’t comment further than to say it was a “search warrant … safely completed” by Bellevue SWAT officers and “investigators.”
(Click image to see as full-size PDF)
At this month’s Highland Park Action Committee meeting, Connie Wolf, vice president of the HP Elementary PTA, gave the group a quick update on progress toward the school’s new playground. It now has a design, with help from students, but also has a long road to reality. Your help is needed – and your enthusiasm for helping them get a place to play! An upcoming open house was mentioned; we asked for more information and design images, and received this update from Elyse Clemens on the playground committee:
Over the course of this school year, the community at Highland Park Elementary School worked together with Pomegranate Center to design a playground for our school. Using input from the students, families, teachers, and community members, the new playground design is full of natural elements for students to play and explore on. There are hill slides, boulder steps, log scrambles, a net climber, and rain and sensory gardens. We are also looking forward to a welcoming entry way on 11th Ave SW that will invite the entire community to enjoy the new space:
(Click image to see as full-size PDF)
This Fall we will be working with Pomegranate Center to develop construction drawings for the design. And throughout the 2016-2017 school year we will be holding community events to raise funds, both direct monetary contributions and community participation matching through Seattle Neighborhood Matching Fund. We hope to have enough money to start the first phase of construction in Summer 2017.
We will be holding an Open House on Thursday June 16th from 6-7 pm at the current playground. This is an opportunity to meet the Pomegranate Center design team and get excited about the future playground. They will map out the design with sidewalk chalk on the blacktop and answer questions. All are welcome to join in the celebration!
We hear there’ll be ice cream! Get it on your calendar – it’ll be on ours. HP Elementary is at 1012 SW Trenton.
Car prowls, car prowls, car prowls – that’s what Southwest Precinct Operations Lt. Ron Smith just told the Highland Park Action Committee is that neighborhood’s biggest crime problem – like most other West Seattle neighborhoods: 145 in this area so far this year, compared to 46 in the same period last year. HP’s Westcrest Park is a hot spot, though not as much as Lincoln Park; Lt. Smith hailed the vigilant citizens who have stepped up keeping eyes on the park, and he encouraged people to keep reporting them, even if nothing was taken: “We need to report these crimes,” even if that means a jump in stats because more people are reporting what happens.
Also up this year over last: Robberies, especially along the southernmost boundary of Highland Park (SW Roxbury) – about a fourth of them were “shoplifting (incidents) gone bad.” Residential burglary is happening at about the same rate has last year, and “we’ve arrested one prolific burglar/car prowler recently, so hopefully we’ll see a reduction,” Lt. Smith noted, adding that non-residential burglary is down by more than half.
Still to come at HPAC, in our next report – city reps are here with their draft recommendation for what should be done with the city-owned Myers Way Parcels; we’ll have the details later tonight.
The Highland Park Improvement Club‘s “Uncorked” wine-tasting fundraiser packed the house last night, for wine-tasting, appetizers, and an auction to raise money for the nonprofit community organization. One item was a subtle reminder of some travails that HPIC’s almost-century-old community-center building at 12th/Holden has encountered this spring:
That art donated to the auction by R. Mac was painted on a piece of the overhang that came down, we’re told. The auction also included some more-conventional items, including these festive baskets:
A major change for this year’s “Uncorked” – instead of it being a sort of wine-tasting potluck, with participants bringing wine to contribute, the wine was provided by local wineries, including the South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) Northwest Wine Academy:
In our photo are Jessica and Phyllis from the academy; they brought a rosé. (NWA’s spring-release event is coming up June 9th-11th, by the way.)
P.S. This year’s “Uncorked” sponsors again included WSB.