West Seattle Blog... » Highland Park http://westseattleblog.com West Seattle news, 24/7 Fri, 31 Oct 2014 16:49:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.4.2 1st meeting in the books for next round of Highland Park levy-funded improvements http://westseattleblog.com/2014/10/1st-meeting-in-the-books-for-highland-park-levy-funded-improvements/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/10/1st-meeting-in-the-books-for-highland-park-levy-funded-improvements/#comments Fri, 31 Oct 2014 09:18:42 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=290524

If you missed this week’s first meeting about the next round of Parks and Green Spaces Levy Opportunity Fund improvements in Highland Park – don’t worry, two more chances are ahead. The first round was the spraypark completed and opened last year; now, the nearby park space is the focus of a community-initiated project to address park access and play-equipment suitability, as outlined in the original proposal.

Seattle Parks landscape architect Pamela Alspaugh and planner Jeron Gates were at Highland Park Elementary School for the project’s first community meeting this past Wednesday night. Two major issues for the park are the age of its playground equipment – which dates back to the ’90s – and its noncompliance with the accessibility laws. Also a concern: Safety and crime prevention, with suggestions for more lighting and CPTED (crime prevention through environmental design) features. Synergy with the school’s upgrade plans also was discussed; Highland Park Elementary parents are looking into grants, and it was suggested that play equipment for that project and this one be complementary rather than redundant. The Opportunity Fund project budget is $374,000 for design and construction, and it’s expected to be done in two years. A meeting early next year (no date yet) will bring a “schematic design” back to the community for review and discussion; then a “preferred design” will be presented in the spring.

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Speaking of play areas: Tonight’s the night to be in Highland Park http://westseattleblog.com/2014/10/speaking-of-play-areas-tonights-the-night-to-be-in-highland-park/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/10/speaking-of-play-areas-tonights-the-night-to-be-in-highland-park/#comments Wed, 29 Oct 2014 19:23:55 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=290317 Too busy a day for a calendar preview (please go directly to our calendar to browse everything that’s up) but there’s one spotlight event, as the Highland Park Action Committee reminds us:

*Highland Park Playground Public Meeting #1* will be held tonight, 6:30 to 7:45 p.m.at Highland Park Elementary School, 1012 SW Trenton St. An Opportunity Fund Grant was awarded to the park with the goals of improving access into the park, and making better connections to SW Thistle, 10th Ave SW, and SW Cloverdale so that it can evolve into an easily accessible node between Riverview and Westcrest. Participants can learn about this community-initiated project that will improve the access, usability, and safety of Highland Park. More information on their website.

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West Seattle park art: ‘Flyers’ now installed at expanded Westcrest http://westseattleblog.com/2014/10/west-seattle-park-art-flyers-now-installed-at-expanded-westcrest/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/10/west-seattle-park-art-flyers-now-installed-at-expanded-westcrest/#comments Tue, 28 Oct 2014 18:52:41 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=290178

(Added: City of Seattle photo by Jason Huff, republished with permission)
Thanks to Lola for pointing out the announcement on the city Arts and Culture Department‘s website – the kinetic artwork “Flyers” is now in place at the Westcrest Park expansion in Highland Park. More than four years have passed since artist David Boyer announced the concept (here’s our coverage from June 2010).

2:16 PM NOTE: The city seems to be having a bit of website trouble; the story’s 404ing but here’s the cached version.

WEDNESDAY NOTE: The original link is working again.

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Live/work in Westwood/Highland Park? Neighborhood-planning committee’s first meeting Tuesday night http://westseattleblog.com/2014/10/livework-in-westwoodhighland-park-neighborhood-planning-committees-first-meeting-tomorrow-night/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/10/livework-in-westwoodhighland-park-neighborhood-planning-committees-first-meeting-tomorrow-night/#comments Tue, 28 Oct 2014 04:12:03 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=290141 Following up on last month’s joint meeting of Highland Park Action Committee and Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council, WWRHAH chair Amanda Kay Helmick invites you to a Tuesday meeting:

The Westwood / Highland Park Neighborhood Planning Committee is holding its first informal meeting tomorrow night at Big Al’s. 7:00 pm. We are starting the discussion on what a Westwood / Highland Park update would look like and what people see as the future of our area. The meeting is open to anyone who might be interested.

Big Al’s is in White Center, 9832 14th Ave. SW. Here’s the area covered by the 1999 WW-HP plan; see the full plan here.

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Highland Park hoedown! School hosting square dance http://westseattleblog.com/2014/10/highland-park-hoedown-school-hosting-square-dance/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/10/highland-park-hoedown-school-hosting-square-dance/#comments Sun, 19 Oct 2014 20:21:22 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=289185 It’s a pre-Halloween hoedown in Highland Park next Friday! From Holly with the HP Elementary PTA:

Highland Park Elementary is hosting a square dance on Friday, October 24th. This is a free event and open to the public. Dinner will be served from 6-7 and the dance will be from 7 – 9. Free pumpkins to take home, while supplies last! Donations will be accepted as a PTA fundraiser.

Highland Park Elementary is at 1012 SW Trenton.

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Design process to start for Highland Park play-area upgrade http://westseattleblog.com/2014/10/design-process-to-start-for-highland-park-play-area-upgrade/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/10/design-process-to-start-for-highland-park-play-area-upgrade/#comments Tue, 14 Oct 2014 02:52:59 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=288637 Though the Parks and Green Spaces Levy expires this year – with the newly voter-approved Park District to follow as a source of extra funding – some of the projects it funded are still in the pipeline. And the design process is getting going for one in West Seattle – the Highland Park play-area upgrade. We just received word via a postal-mail postcard that a community meeting is set for 6:30 pm October 29th at Highland Park Elementary (1012 SW Trenton). As first proposed more than two years ago, the plan here is to “improve the usability and safety (of) the play area” at the park (1100 SW Cloverdale), which also is home to West Seattle’s only spraypark, another project largely funded by the 2008-2014 levy. What kind of play equipment and access do you want to see? Everyone interested is invited to get involved with planning, and this meeting is the next step.

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Food Lifeline decides not to build new HQ on West Seattle’s ex-’Nickelsville’ site, chooses Riverton instead http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/food-lifeline-decides-not-to-build-new-hq-on-west-seattles-ex-nickelsville-site-chooses-riverton-instead/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/food-lifeline-decides-not-to-build-new-hq-on-west-seattles-ex-nickelsville-site-chooses-riverton-instead/#comments Fri, 26 Sep 2014 20:56:14 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=286986

(WSB photo: Ex-encampment site being cleared after its closure one year ago)
The West Seattle site known best as the multiple-times-former site of the “Nickelsville” homeless encampment will NOT be the new home of Food Lifeline after all.

It’s been almost two years since the nonprofit confirmed it was looking at the site, which includes both city- and state-owned land. FL described the location as its preferred site as recently as one year ago, when the encampment moved off the site under orders of the city.

But today, a spokesperson for Food Lifeline sent word that FL has instead chosen a site in Riverton, just south of South Park, and is breaking ground there. Asked why FL decided against the ex-encampment site at West Marginal Way SW and Highland Park Way SW, Joleen Zanuzoski told WSB, “When Food Lifeline was going through the second phase of the environmental review at the West Marginal/ Highland Park location, there were a lot of unknowns associated with the land that would lead to additional investment for the build. Food Lifeline made the decision to look elsewhere so they could spend their donors money in the most efficient way possible and to find land that wouldn’t have so many questionable elements attached to it that might be cause for more money being spent for land development.”

FL says it’s instead constructing two buildings on nine acres at 9600 8th Avenue S. (map), with “200,000 square feet of warehouse and cold storage, administrative offices, conference rooms and a demonstration kitchen space. Food Lifeline will occupy one of the warehouses.” It’s raising money to buy the property, for which it’s made a lease-to-own deal for starters.

Meantime, we have a message out to the city, inquiring about the future of the ex-encampment site in West Seattle, now that the Food Lifeline proposal is no longer in play. (Previously, you might recall, the same site was under consideration for a new jail that ultimately the city agreed didn’t need to be built.)

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Highland Park, Westwood councils meet together to focus on fighting, preventing crime http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/highland-park-westwood-councils-meet-together-to-focus-on-fighting-preventing-crime/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/highland-park-westwood-councils-meet-together-to-focus-on-fighting-preventing-crime/#comments Fri, 26 Sep 2014 04:44:51 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=286802 By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

In the city’s stack of neighborhood plans, Highland Park and Westwood share one. Last night, the community councils for the neighborhoods shared a meeting.

More than 40 people in attendance as Highland Park Action Committee‘s regular monthly meeting was joined by Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council, with the focus on crime fighting and prevention.

Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Steve Wilske, who’s working on neighborhood policing plans as part of a citywide initiative, came with information specific to both areas, as well as updates.

He said that police handle 220 calls a week in Highland Park – but they are NOT all crimes, that also includes other ways in which police are asked to help people. The most common type of incident for which police are called in Highland Park: ‘Suspicious people.” Disturbances, traffic violations, crashes follow. The one area to which police are called most often: Walgreens at 15th/Roxbury.

For Westwood’s hot spot, Roxhill Park, incidents for which police have been called have “skyrocketed” since RapidRide launched in 2012, said Capt. Wilske – “in the area of doubling.” But there’s some recent progress – they’ve helped businesses at Westwood Village implement a “criminal trespass” program at Westwood Village, which will soon expand, and there’s been a 25 percent drop in incidents at the park since sending officers in on bicycles to patrol frequently. Getting bicycles for officers to use when possible has been a focus for Capt. Wilske, and he says a quarter of the precinct staff has volunteered to be involved. This allows officers to get into spots they can’t reach with a car, like paths at Roxhill Park. You’ll see even more officers on bikes and on foot starting within a week or so.

He also said that SPD will help with the effort to get grant money to improve Roxhill Park lighting and will evaluate the transit-hub area there with a CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design) eye. At that point, Community Police Team Officer Jon Kiehn explained CPTED (as he’s done at many other community meetings, including multiple presentations for the West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network).

Neighborhood policing: Capt. Wilske’s been talking about this at community meetings around West Seattle and South Park (which together comprise the Southwest Precinct’s coverage area). The plans being drawn up for local neighborhoods, in consultation with community councils for starters, focus on each neighborhood’s most vexing problems, and how those can be tackled for starters. He’s expecting the program to “top out” at about a dozen plans.

Since property crimes are the biggest concern for West Seattle, with a relatively low number of violent crimes, the precinct is using tools including what Wilske mentioned at Tuesday night’s West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network meeting – new fingerprinting kits, a database of repeat offenders, tools you can borrow to engrave your driver’s-license number on valuables, etc.

A key point: Precinct leadership is working with community-council leadership on these plans. So if you have concerns to get addressed, funnel it through your nearest council. The areas with plans so far are determined by places that have an organization with which he can check in. “The idea isn’t to exclude anybody, but there has to be enough organization there to know I’m not marching off in the wrong direction,” said Wilske.

He shared more information about the fingerprinting kits: The only ones available to officers now date as far back as the turn of the millennium, so every Southwest Precinct officer will be getting new kits – “if we can get a fingerprint out of a stolen vehicle, out of a burglary, we can get that person charged if we can match it up to them.” One officer has been working with a sort of pilot version of the kit, and she’ll be involved in putting the right components together for her colleagues.

Officer Kiehn and Crime Prevention Coordinator Mark Solomon (who is accountable for the Southwest and South Precincts) also presented information. Kiehn talked about some of the online tools that we know WSB’ers are already familiar with –

CPT Officer Kiehn told the group about the online crime maps and how you can sometimes get the narrative on reports via that system (with a significant lag – usually at least a few days – he acknowledged). Tweets by Beat also came up, with the caveat that they show the types of incidents that are suspected, without any way for the automated system to correct it later, even if what was thought to be a certain type of incident didn’t turn out to be anything resembling that. (Side note: The West Seattle Tweets by Beat are aggregated in an automatically updated box you can check any time on the WSB Crime Watch page.)

Crime Prevention Coordinator Solomon mentioned some of what he can help with – including helping neighbors set up Block Watches.

Will the city’s Find It Fix It walks come to West Seattle? The most recent one was on Capitol Hill. No new ones on the drawing board yet, the group was told. But the concept of bringing together city agencies/departments to solve problems together, rather than in their respective silos, is being deployed more and more, said Solomon. You do have to have an initial point of contact – with a chronic problem, for example, that would be your Community Police Team officer. (Here’s the contact info.)

The meeting touched on a few non-crime/police topics:


OTHER NOTES: Programs currently active in West Seattle (and elsewhere) got mentions at the meeting – RainWise (a way to install green-stormwater-infrastructure at your home and get a rebate covering much or all of the cost – HPIC got grants for its raingardens and cisterns), Solarize Southwest (the latest group solar buying), the SDOT Play Streets program (you can apply to close your street for events), and the question of whether the West Seattle Transportation Coalition should take a position on Transportation Benefit District Prop 1 – the Seattle-only license-tab-fee/sales-tax-increase measure on the upcoming fall ballot. … Should that aforementioned Westwood/Highland Park neighborhood plan be updated? WWRHAH chair Amanda Kay Helmick suggested it’s time to “start the conversation.”

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Happening now: Open house at Seattle Police Mounted Patrol HQ in West Seattle http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/happening-now-open-house-at-seattle-police-mounted-patrol-hq-in-west-seattle/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/happening-now-open-house-at-seattle-police-mounted-patrol-hq-in-west-seattle/#comments Sat, 20 Sep 2014 20:22:53 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=286369

The first arrivals at the Seattle Police Mounted Patrol Unit‘s second annual Open House found it pretty exciting to meet the horses face to face. Above, Officer Laura Wollberg and Chance impressed a young visitor. You’ll find the horses and officers in and around their barn on the west side of Westcrest Park in Highland Park – Charlie got a last-minute touchup:

Along with meeting the horses and seeing demonstrations (one riding demo should be under way now, and another’s at 4, plus you’ll see how they go through “desensitization training”), you can get a behind-the-scenes look at barn operations. You might call this the pantry:

Some of the inventory, being put to good use:

For today’s open house, human treats are on hand too – free hot dogs and chips:

We asked the unit leader Sgt. Jim Scott (below, with Dozer) if visitors need to know anything else. He reminded us there’s parking inside the gate, too (that’s on the right when you drive in from 8th, where an SPD vehicle is marking the entrance).

The open house continues until 5 pm today.

P.S. It’s been three years since the Seattle Police Foundation, a nonprofit that supports events like this, stepped up to coordinate a community campaign to support the Mounted Unit.

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Meet your neighhhhh-bors @ SPD Mounted Patrol open house http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/meet-your-neighhhhh-bors-spd-mounted-patrol-open-house/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/meet-your-neighhhhh-bors-spd-mounted-patrol-open-house/#comments Thu, 18 Sep 2014 21:16:14 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=286114

(WSB photo from Delridge Day, 8/6/14)
On the heels – or hooves – of the Seattle Police Mounted Patrol Unit appearance at last month’s Delridge Day, here’s your next chance to see the unit’s horses and humans: This Saturday, it’s the second annual open house at their West Seattle home base. We’re giving you an extra nudge because Sgt. Jim Scott says they really want to make sure you know about the chance to come visit them. The Mounted Patrol is based alongside Westcrest Park in Highland Park (9000 8th SW – directions here); the open house runs noon-5 pm and is hosted by the nonprofit Seattle Police Foundation, whose announcement mentions riding demonstrations at 1 and 4 pm, plus free hot dogs.

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Update: Car hits building’s gas meter in Highland Park; no one hurt http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/car-hits-building-in-highland-park/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/car-hits-building-in-highland-park/#comments Tue, 16 Sep 2014 16:01:41 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=285861

9:01 AM: Moving this over from our morning traffic watch: Seattle Fire is on the scene of a crash described as a car hitting a building in the 7900 block of 9th SW (map). Everyone got out of the car OK, SFD reports, but it hit the gas meter, so they’re calling in Puget Sound Energy.

9:04 AM: Our crew at the scene reports the aforementioned gas leak is very noticeable in the immediate area – so stay clear of there for now. No major traffic effects, though. This happened at an auto-repair shop at 9th/Kenyon.

9:22 AM: Replaced our original photo with a wider view showing the scene – the black car with the open doors is the one that hit the building, and it’s since been pulled out:

Also, PSE has shut off the gas, and the SFD crews will be pulling back too.

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West Seattle Crime Watch: Bridesmaid dress stolen – with car http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/west-seattle-crime-watch-bridesmaid-dress-stolen-with-car/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/west-seattle-crime-watch-bridesmaid-dress-stolen-with-car/#comments Sat, 13 Sep 2014 17:28:36 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=285537 Just out of the WSB inbox, from TW:

My girlfriend’s car, a red 1995 Subaru station wagon license plate 782 ZDF, was stolen sometime Fri night/Sat morning outside my apartment a block off of Westcrest Park in the Highland Park neighborhood. If anyone sees it, please call the Seattle Police. It’s bad timing; she’s part of a friend’s wedding this evening and her bridesmaid’s dress was in the car. If any of the readers of the West Seattle Blog can spot it, that would be a lifesaver. Thanks!

Call 911 if you see this or any other stolen vehicle, police say.

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Update: Car-motorcycle collision at 16th/Holden, 2 hurt http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/car-motorcycle-collision-at-16thholden/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/car-motorcycle-collision-at-16thholden/#comments Fri, 12 Sep 2014 02:13:02 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=285321

7:13 PM: … That’s what the big response is for. Two people hurt, but neither lost consciousness, per scanner.

7:22 PM: We are at the scene. Two people were on the motorcycle, both taken to the hospital by private ambulance. The crash scene is on Holden west of 16th, at the 7-11 driveway. No life-threatening injuries. It’s suspected the collision happened because the sun got in everybody’s eyes, police told us.

7:39 PM: Added a photo. At top, police officers and firefighters were cleaning up the scene, including lifting up the motorcycle, awaiting a tow truck. SFD says the people taken to the hospital were the 50-year-old man driving the motorcycle and 50-year-old woman who was his passenger.

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Earthquake-resistance retrofit work about to start at West Seattle Reservoir in Highland Park http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/earthquake-resistance-retrofit-about-to-start-at-west-seattle-reservoir/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/earthquake-resistance-retrofit-about-to-start-at-west-seattle-reservoir/#comments Thu, 11 Sep 2014 16:40:40 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=285256 Three months after we first reported on seismic-safety retrofit work needed inside some city reservoirs, it’s about to start at West Seattle Reservoir in Highland Park. Neighbors will receive, if they haven’t already, notices from Seattle Public Utilities, which tells WSB that work will start by the end of September and run through March. Here’s the notice:

(If you can’t see the embedded version, here’s the PDF version.) SPU says project signs will go up in the park before work begins. Our June story, linked in the first sentence of this one, details the full backstory, including the expectation that work will be needed at West Seattle’s other underground reservoir, Myrtle, and will probably start there before the end of next year.

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West Seattle back-to-school: Highland Park Elementary barbecue http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/west-seattle-back-to-school-highland-park-elementary-barbecue/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/west-seattle-back-to-school-highland-park-elementary-barbecue/#comments Wed, 03 Sep 2014 22:36:55 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=284498 Another special back-to-school event to announce! From the Highland Park Elementary PTA, via Holly:

HPE will be hosting its annual back to school BBQ on Friday, September 5th. The BBQ is scheduled from 5:30 – 7:00 on the school grounds.

This is an annual tradition at HPE, and provides the students and their families an opportunity to gather as a community, share their visions for the school year, and celebrate the beginning of another school year. Hot dogs and refreshments will be provided. The PTA will be on hand, as well as teachers and administrators.

Special event, accomplishment, request, etc. from/at YOUR school? Let us know!

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