Morgan Community Association: Digging; rezoning; park expanding…

October 15, 2014 at 9:07 pm | In Neighborhoods, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

Tonight’s fall-quarter meeting of the Morgan Community Association drew more than 20 people to the basement meeting area at The Kenney (WSB sponsor) and covered a wide range of topics, as usual:

MURRAY CSO PROJECT UPDATE: Excavation is going “fast and furious,” said Hannah from King County Wastewater Treatment, as the space for the million-gallon combined-sewer-overflow-storage tank is dug across from Lowman Beach Park. It’s about halfway to its expected depth – 30 of 60 feet – she said. It’s still likely to be completed by early November, which means up to eight truckloads per hour, plus the added Saturday work that started just last weekend.

Click to read the rest of Morgan Community Association: Digging; rezoning; park expanding……

Gunfire suspect now in jail and other investigation updates at tonight’s Admiral Neighborhood Association meeting

October 14, 2014 at 9:08 pm | In Neighborhoods, West Seattle news | 50 Comments

(October 9 photo by Christopher Boffoli; suspect Daren Atwood at center, khaki pants)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The man arrested after last Thursday’s gunfire incident near Fairmount Ravine was booked into jail this evening and is charged with a misdemeanor.

That case topped crime updates from Southwest Precinct Community Police Team Officer Jon Flores during tonight’s Admiral Neighborhood Association meeting, held at Hiawatha Community Center (a last-minute move because of a conflict at regular venue The Sanctuary at Admiral).

We had been checking on the suspect’s status; as reported during our coverage on Thursday, he was initially taken to Harborview for a 72-hour mental evaluation. That has since ended and as of this evening, King County Jail records confirm that the suspect, 30-year-old Admiral resident Daren Atwood, is there, charged with unlawful discharge of a firearm, a gross misdemeanor. No bail amount is listed on the jail register so far, but Atwood is due in the city’s Mental Health Court tomorrow, according to online records.

Ahead: Other crime incidents/issues discussed at the meeting, plus two other major topics, including presentations on both preschool-related measures you’ll see on the November 4th ballot:

Click to read the rest of Gunfire suspect now in jail and other investigation updates at tonight’s Admiral Neighborhood Association meeting…

North Delridge Neighborhood Council: New officers; policing plan

October 13, 2014 at 9:16 pm | In Delridge, Neighborhoods, West Seattle news | No Comments

Two notes from tonight’s North Delridge Neighborhood Council meeting:

NEW OFFICERS: After tonight’s elections, Jake Vanderplas and Michael Taylor-Judd are co-chairs, Nancy Folsom is co-secretary, Lisa Taylor-Whitley is beautification chair, Kirk Lauckner is outreach chair, Parie Hines is community design/land-use chair, and Taylor-Judd also serves as streets/pedestrian advocacy chair. That still leaves three open positions – co-secretary, treasurer, and public-safety chair.

POLICING PLAN: Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Steve Wilske was a last-minute cancellation but the draft neighborhood-policing plan for North Delridge – one of at least half a dozen under development for local neighborhoods (as part of a process under way citywide right now) – was circulated, same one originally linked from the NDNC website last month:

If you’re interested in shaping the final plan, a neighborhood walking tour with Capt. Wilske was announced for 4 pm October 27th – please RSVP to Kirsten Smith, NDNC’s point person for the policing plan, so you’ll get info on the meeting point when it gets closer.

NDNC meets second Mondays, 6:30 pm, at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, and is online at ndnc.org.

Be there! From police to politics, see what’s ahead for this week’s community-group meetings in West Seattle

October 12, 2014 at 8:28 pm | In Neighborhoods, West Seattle news | 5 Comments

Busy week ahead for community council/coalition meetings. Highlights for those from which we’ve received agendas/previews:

MONDAY – POLICING PLAN @ NDNC: Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Steve Wilske guests at the North Delridge Neighborhood Council meeting tomorrow night (Monday, October 13th). NDNC says he’ll be there “to discuss the precinct’s draft policing plan for North Delridge as well as any other issues you would like to bring to the table.” 6:30 pm at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center. (4408 Delridge Way SW)

TUESDAY – CRIME STATS @ ANA: Southwest Precinct Community Police Team Officer Jon Flores is on the agenda for Tuesday’s Admiral Neighborhood Association meeting, along with reps from the two preschool-money measures on November’s ballot. Here’s the official flyer. 7 pm, The Sanctuary at Admiral. (42nd/Lander)

TUESDAY – WILL WSTC ENDORSE THE BUS-MONEY MEASURE OR NOT? That’s the big question on the West Seattle Transportation Coalition‘s agenda for Tuesday night. Since WSTC includes reps from community groups around the peninsula, they wanted to give members time to get the sense of their organizations before voting on whether to endorse Seattle Transportation Benefit District Proposition 1. A vote is expected during the meeting, 6:30 pm Tuesday at Neighborhood House’s High Point Center. (6400 Sylvan Way SW)

WEDNESDAY – FOUR GUESTS FOR DNDC: The second community-meeting appearance of the week for precinct commander Capt. Wilske is the Delridge Neighborhoods District Council meeting, 7 pm Wednesday at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center. He’s one of four guests; also scheduled are guests talking about the city budget, Neighborhood Matching Fund, and the SDOT Freight Master Plan. (4408 Delridge Way SW)

WEDNESDAY – LONG LIST FOR MORGAN: The quarterly Morgan Community Association meetings at The Kenney (WSB sponsor) are always info-packed, and there’s a big list of topics for this one at 7 pm Wednesday; see it on our calendar listing for the meeting. (7125 Fauntleroy Way SW)

Also meeting this week, though we don’t have agendas/previews yet – Fauntleroy Community Association (7 pm Tuesday, Fauntleroy Schoolhouse, 9131 California SW) and Alki Community Council (7 pm Thursday, Alki UCC, 6112 SW Hinds).

Saga of the Jacobsen Road goats: Why the feeder’s gone again

October 3, 2014 at 12:21 pm | In Neighborhoods, Pets, West Seattle news | 61 Comments

(Photo by Suzanne Krom - goats with visitors before the feeder was removed last month)
You might recall the saga of the Jacobsen Road goats – Bama, Deli, and JJ - who would come say hi to visitors who put a quarter in a food dispenser and rang a bell to summon them. As reported here in June, the feeder went away in late spring after the goats’ owner acquiesced to a neighbor’s complaint. Then, encouraged by community support, he brought it back. Now, it’s gone again, as explained on this sign:

(September 25th photo)
This time, the feeder was removed under order of the city Department of Planning and Development, because of a zoning complaint – the feeder apparently turned the goat display into a “petting zoo.” We started asking DPD for comment last week, and finally received a response last night. Spokesperson Bryan Stevens told WSB, “We inspected the site (Wednesday) and found it to be in compliance with what the code allows in the single-family zone. The owner has been very cooperative and removed the elements that created the ‘petting zoo’ use. The feeding signs, bell, and 25-cent feeder have been removed, but the three goats remain.”

We asked Stevens about what appeared to be a new beef in the goat site’s file: “The more recent complaint that you’ve referenced was regarding the number of animals kept. Someone was claiming that there were more than three animals on site, but upon inspection from the sidewalk, only the three goats were observed … so the service request was closed. Up to three small animals are allowed on each single family property.”

Reminder: 1-day closure next Wednesday for local libraries

October 1, 2014 at 3:10 pm | In Neighborhoods, West Seattle news | Comments Off

Your friendly neighborhood local librarians want to remind you that, one week from today, all five southwest-area Seattle Public Library branches are closed, for an in-service day for the people who work there. That’s Wednesday, October 8th; the “closed” sign will be up that day at Admiral (West Seattle), Delridge, High Point, South Park, and Southwest Branch Libraries. Book drops will still be open. Other libraries in the city will remain open – this year they’re staggering the “in-service day” regionally rather than doing it citywide all at once.

Beach policing plan, city’s shoreline-rules update both reviewed @ Alki Community Council

September 24, 2014 at 3:40 am | In Neighborhoods, West Seattle news | 11 Comments

As a draw for people from around the region, Alki Beach poses a unique challenge for local police. It’s one of six areas of West Seattle for which Southwest Precinct leaders are drawing up neighborhood-policing plans, so Operations Lt. Ron Smith came to this month’s Alki Community Council meeting in search of comments on the draft. He was one of two guests, along with a city rep working on the revised Shoreline Master Program.

ALKI POLICING PLAN: The ACC had circulated the draft policing plan along with the meeting agenda:

Click to read the rest of Beach policing plan, city’s shoreline-rules update both reviewed @ Alki Community Council…

Admiral Neighborhood Association toplines: Saturday’s Adopt-A-Street cleanup welcomes you! Plus, traffic-signal update, more…

September 12, 2014 at 11:11 am | In How to help, Neighborhoods, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

Live/work in Admiral? Tomorrow you can join the Admiral Neighborhood Association‘s quarterly Adopt-A-Street cleanup, with rewards – treats before/after from the Admiral Metropolitan Market (WSB sponsor). Meet your fellow volunteers outside the store at 9 am Saturday. Don’t worry about bringing bags or equipment – it’s all provided. Young volunteers welcome, too.

The Adopt-A-Street cleanup is part of what was on the agenda at this past Tuesday’s ANA meeting. Centerpiece item: The long-requested, soon-to-be-installed 47th/Admiral traffic signal.

Toplines from that discussion, and more, ahead:

Click to read the rest of Admiral Neighborhood Association toplines: Saturday’s Adopt-A-Street cleanup welcomes you! Plus, traffic-signal update, more……

Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights CC isn’t meeting tonight, but IS meeting with Highland Park AC, police on September 24th

September 2, 2014 at 9:04 am | In Crime, Neighborhoods, Safety, West Seattle news | 4 Comments

It’s September, and the community groups that took all or part of the summer off would usually be getting back to their normal schedules. But two of them have a different plan for this month. Tonight, the first Tuesday, would usually be the regular meeting night for Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council, but here’s what’s on the schedule instead, as announced by Joe Szilagyi:

One more month of a slightly different WWRHAH schedule!

No meeting tonight as we’ve mentioned — the next one will be a joint meeting with the Highland Park Action Committee at their meeting space on Wednesday, September 24 at 630 pm. This meeting will be dedicated to and focusing on Seattle Police across our two areas and South Delridge. Bring your questions — we’ll have all the key staff from the Southwest Precinct there!

Meeting: HPAC & WWRHAH joint SPD meeting
Date: Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Time: 630 pm-830 pm
Location: Highland Park Improvement Club, 1116 SW Holden

Here’s the Facebook event if you want to join that or share it.

If you live in one of those areas and have concerns/questions for SPD, that meeting will be particularly crucial, as the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council has canceled its September meeting because of health challenges among its leadership.

Summer Concerts at Hiawatha 2014 wrapup: ‘A big high-five’

August 30, 2014 at 2:52 pm | In Neighborhoods, West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | 4 Comments

Thursday night was the last of this year’s six Summer Concerts at Hiawatha, presented for the sixth consecutive year by the Admiral Neighborhood Association, whose president David Whiting shares this wrap-up:

“A Big High-Five to Our Sponsors!”

The Admiral Neighborhood Association would like to thank all of our sponsors that contributed to make the Hiawatha Summer Concerts possible. We especially want to acknowledge Metropolitan Market, who, in addition to their support, handed out treats at every one of the six concerts. Christian Heilman, our sound engineer this summer, did a great job and we were fortunate to have his expertise.

Gold Sponsor
Metropolitan Market

Silver Sponsors
Associated Recreation Council
Bank of America
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Real Estate
The Cask
Curious Kidstuff
Emeritus Senior Living at Admiral Heights
Menchie’s Admiral
Ranger Chicken – Draper Valley Farms
Seattle Parks and Recreation
Weitzel Construction
West Seattle Blog

Bronze Sponsors
Alki Mail and Dispatch
Brent Amacher State Farm Insurance
Bob and Dawn Brown
Flower Lab
Head to Toe Day Spa
Little Gym of West Seattle
Kayle Shulenberger Speech Pathologist
Stuffed Cakes
Thunder Road Guitars
Wiseman Appliance

Nearly 3,000 people listened and danced to musical acts that ranged from rock, country, funk to kid friendly pop. If you enjoy concerts and similar community events your local neighborhood association or community council needs to hear from you. The West Seattle Blog announces all West Seattle community councils’ meetings and their activities. The ANA is planning a December holiday event and could use your participation. Learn more at our upcoming meeting, 7:00 pm Tuesday, September 9th, at The Sanctuary.

ANA launched the concert series in 2009, and we’re proud to have been a sponsor every year since the start.

West Seattle Land Use Committee launches one week from tonight

August 20, 2014 at 11:17 am | In Development, Neighborhoods, West Seattle news | 5 Comments

After months of discussion, the West Seattle Land Use Committee is about to become reality. The seed was planted as local community-group leaders discussed the fact that there is no West Seattle-wide group looking at development and zoning/land-use issues – they only come up in response to/conjunction with particular projects. Other neighborhoods have land-use committees that get involved early on, so why not West Seattle, with so much growth and change? So here’s the agenda for the first meeting, set for next Wednesday (one week from tonight):

WEST SEATTLE LAND USE COMMITTEE
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 27 – 6:30 – 8:00

West Seattle Senior Center – Nelson Room – 4217 Southwest Oregon
__________________________________________________________

6:30 – Welcome and Introductions of Land Use Committee Members
*Introductions of attendees from the public

6:45 – Recap of the joint meeting of the Southwest District Council and the Delridge District Council – Sharonn, Vlad and Matt

7:00 – Additional issues to be added to the summary document – All

7:30 – Additional possible solutions to be added to the summary document – All

7:50 – Additional topics to be discussed at our next Land Use Committee meeting

8:00 – Adjourn

All are welcome. Helpful homework if you’re planning to be there – the official notes from last June’s joint meeting of the Southwest and Delridge District Councils with City Councilmember Mike O’Brien to talk land use:

We covered the meeting; our as-it-happened coverage is here.

PHOTO GALLERY: Night Out 2014 parties in neighborhoods around West Seattle

August 5, 2014 at 6:03 pm | In Neighborhoods, Preparedness, Safety, West Seattle news | 24 Comments

FIRST REPORT, 6:03 PM: Night Out is on! We’re visiting block parties around West Seattle again this year and will add updates here. Since we can’t get to them all, we’d love one from yours if you care to share – editor@westseattleblog.com (or Twitter/Instagram, where the hashtag is #SeattleNightOut and we are at @westseattleblog) – thanks; updates ahead!

FIRST STOP, ARBOR HEIGHTS – in the block where we attended a Seattle Police Living-Room Conversation at Block Watch Captain JoDean Edelheit‘s home two years ago. (That’s JoDean in the back row, third from right.) This block is getting busier, as it’s near the undergoing-renovations future home of Westside School (WSB sponsor) at 34th/104th.

SECOND STOP, SUNRISE HEIGHTS: Carole invited us to stop by; her husband Michael is Block Watch Captain and has also recently gone through a round of preparedness training, so he’s leading the neighborhood in getting everybody organized to start working on a neighborhood plan. That’s why there’s preparedness info at their party:

They’re hoping not only to be, well, more prepared as a result, but also to inspire other neighborhoods. (Have we mentioned lately – lots of preparedness info at westseattlebeprepared.org, including the location of your nearest Emergency Communication Hub.)

7:20 PM UPDATE: Thanks to Marcia for tweeting this photo from her neighborhood’s party:

Via text, more preparedness, at 23rd and Cambridge, including this photo:

The texter (206-293-6302 any time!) says neighbor Patty Doty got a grant to “put together emergency kits to distribute tonight to our neighbors!” Meantime, back onto our travels:

OUR THIRD STOP, GATEWOOD: Sue‘s neighborhood has an annual “flags of all nations” display:

The biggest flag there in the middle synergizes with the sign – the flag is for Hawaii, the sign says No Ka Oi (Hawaiian for “is the best”) Party. We also discovered while visiting that Jeff is an award-winning amateur winemaker:

As we continue our travels, we’re noting MANY side streets closed off for block parties – way to go! And closing streets takes some logistics – and signage:

OUR FOURTH STOP, HANSEN VIEW: The sign above is from Hansen View just south of The Mount, where Night Out always means a big party. Including bluegrass band The Mighty Fallen.

We just missed visiting firefighters. Lots of neighbors having a great time!

Hansen View is home neighborhood to West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network leaders Deb Greer and Karen Berge, who we’ll see again – and you should come too! – at Delridge Day this Saturday. Meantime, a photo texted from Gatewood:

The band is Woodland, playing near 35th and Rose – thanks for the photo!

OUR FIFTH STOP, FAIRMOUNT: We were leaving Hansen View, headed to Junction Plaza Park (stop #6), when we noticed two Seattle Fire vehicles at a block party, so we pulled over, and got a group shot including the visiting firefighters:

This is Fairmount, south of The Triangle, not to be confused with Fairmount Park or Fairmount Springs. Then it was north to …

OUR SIXTH STOP, JUNCTION PLAZA PARK: The re-activated Junction Neighborhood Organization threw a party in the park … we didn’t arrive until it was almost over, but caught the small spirited group that remained:

West Seattle Bike Connections joined JuNO for the party. Police and fire had visited earlier too, as had City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, who was making West Seattle rounds. JuNO had water balloons, too … now THAT is a party. JuNO’s director René Commons says they hope next Night Out will bring their SECOND annual party in the park.

ADDED 9:23 PM – OUR SEVENTH AND FINAL STOP, SEAVIEW: 5900 block of 44th and vicinity – thanks to Kelli for inviting us. A 1970 El Camino was a canvas for chalk art:

Heather from Sparklez Face and Body Art was creating art too:

And the group:

(added) WE STOPPED HERE TOO: Thanks to Sarah for kindly pointing out in comments that we had neglected to publish anything from one of our stops, 6000 block of 37th – and this was actually the first invite we’ve received, from Aaron. Found the pic!

(back to Tuesday night in-progress report) Next: Photos from the inbox – thanks for sharing! First:

That’s from Steve at 16th and Trenton. One block over, at 15th and Trenton, a party photo from Chris:

Next, from Leslie on Canada Drive SW:

Tweeted by Jason in Admiral:


Lots of kid activities at tonight’s parties. Even a bouncy house in Belvidere, on 36th SW – thanks for this e-mailed photo:

Further south on 36th SW, here’s the group photo from Jenny‘s neighborhood (“between Findlay and Brandon, best block EVER!” she declared):

Also very proud of their block:

We love our neighborhood and thought you might like a glimpse of our amazing gathering. 61st Ave SW – between Hinds and Spokane St.

Mary Pyper and Janinne Brunyee, Block Watch Co-Captains

Pigeon Point always has a big bash, and Pete Spalding shared photos – here he is with Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Steve Wilske:

Deputy Chief Mike Washburn also stopped by, as did a Seattle Fire engine:

But neighborhood mingling remained the big draw, as it was with parties from north to south, east to west:

Next, we head all the way to the other end of West Seattle – Jim Edwards of West Seattle Big Band and West Seattle Grand Parade fame shares a photo from North Shorewood:

A first-time event in North Shorewood on 102nd SW. The west end of the block is the City of Seattle. The east end of the block, unincorporated King County. From 28th SW to 30th SW. We are also participating in an informal radio net with the West Seattle Radio Club.

Next year … maybe a band appearance? If you live out that way, keep watch for flyers next summer! Heading back north, to Gatewood again, Long B. Nguyen photographed his SW Portland neighbors:

From the 6300 block of 41st SW, Fairmount Springs vicinity, Jenny explains the next photo as “not everyone at our block party, but still a picture of neighbors enjoying each other.”

From the 3400 block of Belvidere Avenue, Erika shares a photo of the youngest neighbors, noting, “We had another fantastic night of community gathering with our neighbors and the gang of kiddos had so much fun riding bikes and scooters, as well as jumping in a bouncy house! We love National Night Out and look forward to it all year!”

From 46th SW between Walker and Hill in North Admiral, a photo texted earlier in the night:

And from Rutan Place SW, John shares a photo of his well-attended block party:

ADDED WEDNESDAY MORNING: Two more – first, from Diane, the late crowd on 45th SW between Alaska and Edmunds:

The block party had double this amount in attendance earlier, with games, bubbles, a balloon artist, & sidewalk chalk for the kids. Most had headed home by this late hour to get little ones to bed and missed the photo. The block party also had 2 musicians who sang for them through the evening, accompanied with a guitar and double bass cello. A great block party for 45th Street!

And Don‘s neighborhood in Fairmount Springs had visitors who brought goodies – the Ben & Jerry‘s truck that’s making Seattle rounds this month:

Thanks again for sharing glimpses of awesome West Seattle neighborhoods.

Night Out tomorrow in West Seattle: Junction Neighborhood Organization plans party in the park

August 4, 2014 at 9:31 am | In Neighborhoods, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

Live in The Junction? There’s a “block party” for you tomorrow night during Night Out. René Commons from the local community council, the Junction Neighborhood Organization, shares the announcement:

JuNO – The junction Neighborhood Organization is staging the First Annual JuNO Neighborhood Night Out Block party at Junction Plaza Park. The event is open to all and we are looking for talented musicians from the neighborhood to perform in the park. JuNO will be roasting hot dogs – kosher and vegan – and staging contests. This is a potluck and we are asking people to bring a side dish or dessert. We will have tents set up and will feature information on crime prevention and emergency preparedness.

Neighborhood Night Out at the Park welcomes all to show their neighborhood STYLE:

Best Hat
Best Dressed Dog
Best Kids costume
Best Decorated Bike (Yay! We have a bike corral in the Junction!)
Best Yodel

Adult Balloon Toss
Kids Balloon Toss

Open call to all neighborhood musicians, dancers and magicians to perform; please contact event coordinators!!!
Looking for volunteers to help set up and stage games

Event Contact: Lilah Gael – lilahgael@gmail.com – & René Commons – wsjuno@yahoo.com

The park is on the northwest corner of 42nd and Alaska. Any other neighborhoods having a party open to those beyond the immediate block, let us know - editor@westseattleblog.com – thanks!

Speed cams, school-zone beacons, ‘pedestrian zoning’ and more @ this quarter’s Morgan Community Association meeting

July 27, 2014 at 4:56 pm | In Neighborhoods, West Seattle news | 4 Comments

Transportation issues dominated this quarter’s Morgan Community Association meeting – with information of interest beyond Morgan’s borders.

SPEED CAMS: In addition to the two new ones that will be activated on Roxbury (by Roxhill Elementary and Holy Family School) this fall, dozens of other locations remain under evaluation around the city, according to SDOT‘s Brian Dougherty. Since the first one to be activated in West Seattle is on Fauntleroy Way near Gatewood Elementary, and since a flashing (cameraless) beacon recently went in on California SW near Gatewood, Dougherty was asked if the latter location would likely get a speed camera. He said he thought that 35th SW by Our Lady of Guadalupe – frequently staked out by the flexible-location “speed van” – would be a more-likely priority for another West Seattle speed cam. Once there’s a new list of proposals, they would require City Council approval, and you’ll recall that the money generated by the cams is all slated to go to school-safety projects. One such project is in the works for the aforementioned Fauntleroy crossing by Gatewood, at Myrtle – bulbs to shorten the crossing.

FLASHING BEACONS ON FAUNTLEROY: Dougherty also mentioned that new flashing school-zone beacons will go up on Fauntleroy Way before newly expanded Fairmount Park Elementary reopens this fall, so look for that work soon.

The meeting included even more transportation info – regarding the Fauntleroy/California intersection – click ahead: Click to read the rest of Speed cams, school-zone beacons, ‘pedestrian zoning’ and more @ this quarter’s Morgan Community Association meeting…

Tonight’s calendar highlight: Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights CC

June 3, 2014 at 10:08 am | In Arbor Heights, Neighborhoods, West Seattle news, Westwood | 1 Comment

Thornton Creek did it – can Roxhill Bog do it too? That’s one of the neighborhood issues on the agenda for today’s featured calendar highlight, the Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council meeting. Live/work in any of those neighborhoods? Go check out WWRHAH at 6:15 pm, Southwest Branch Library (35th/Henderson). See the agenda in our calendar listing, and the calendar itself has many more events for today/tonight, including nightlife!

Be part of this year’s Night Out! Signups, $ applications now open

May 30, 2014 at 10:20 am | In Neighborhoods, West Seattle news | 4 Comments

(You don’t HAVE to have a bouncy toy, but Hillcrest does – 2010 WSB photo by Christopher Boffoli)
Be part of the year’s biggest night of block parties, the 30th annual Night Out, on Tuesday, August 5th. Sounds like a long way away, but our area’s SPD Crime Prevention Coordinator Mark Solomon sends word that registration is open NOW. If you sign up, you can close your street to traffic that night (provided you’re not on an arterial and a few other caveats) – go here as soon as you’re ready. Early party-planning also offers the chance to apply for a Department of Neighborhoods matching-fund grant – the deadline is June 23rd; find out about it here. More than 1,400 neighborhoods around Seattle had block parties last year – this year, join ‘em!

Townhouse-rezone endorsement and more @ Morgan Community Association’s quarterly meeting

April 17, 2014 at 6:13 pm | In Neighborhoods, West Seattle news | 3 Comments

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The Morgan Community Association is now officially on the record as supporting the West Seattle Church of the Nazarene‘s proposed six-townhouse plan for land it owns south of the church and its parsonage at 42nd and Juneau.

The vote came at the end of last night’s meeting, after a return appearance by developer and area resident Joe Paar (above), who said he and the church – planning to sell the townhouses but retain ownership of “park” open space on the rest of the site – wanted MoCA’s blessing since they are about to take the first part of the rezoning proposal to the city. The room was full of church members/supporters, about triple MoCA’s usual turnout in the lower-level meeting area of The Kenney (WSB sponsor).

They had a multipage glossy color handout with renderings and Q/A on the project. (Previously, they set up a website.) A sign and painted-on-the-ground outlines are now set up, said Paar. He said they’re still working out where to put the park on the open space that will be left between the townhouses and 42nd SW. He said they’ve been designed to look like “Craftsman-style townhouses,” not the “modern” design that is prevalent in new construction today. The community will be asked to vote on color schemes.

He noted that he and church leadership already have made three appearances at MoCA and will be back often as the proposal proceeds – “you’re going to get sick of us.” A community garden and movie screen are proposed as part of the park section of the site. The project will require a zoning change, as noted previously. The townhouses will have a private porch transitioning into a semi-private yard, then a public path, and the community park area. Their garages won’t be connected to the homes – residents will have to walk to their homes, “which is intentional,” Paar said.

They propose 12 spaces of parking for the townhomes, in addition to 11 parking spaces for the church. The biggest townhomes will have 2 bedrooms and 2 baths in addition to basement space that could be used for a bedroom or office. It was reiterated that these will be sold, not rented, townhomes on fee-simple land. “Would somebody be allowed to buy them for an investment and rent them out?” an attendee asked. “That’s not what we’re looking to sell these for,” said Parr. The church retains ownership of the “park” portion of the land, as well as the parsonage house between the “park” site and the church building.

One attendee said “I commend you on how these buildings look; the buildings they’re building now, they look terrible.” Parr reiterated that he lives nearby and he was afraid a “bad-guy developer would get a hold of the site and build something (we didn’t want to see).”

He outlined a timeline:

*May 2014 – rezoning proposal going to City Council
*May 2015 – response expected from council
*Construction not expected until 2016 or even 2017

It’s a two-step rezoning process, he said, and it requires community support. So far, he says, they have 33 letters from neighbors voicing support, but they all but pleaded for MoCA’s support. The brochure they circulated even included a public accounting of what the church would do with the expected $760,000 revenue, including $200,000 work on the church’s exterior.

MoCA president Deb Barker stressed that the comprehensive-plan amendment being proposed here to facilitate a contract-rezone proposal would only affect the lots on the site. And Parr noted that what they were presenting involves the public benefit they would be required to provide. MoCA’s Eldon Olson said the “park” portion of the site – which would be open to the public but remain church-owned – was attractive, as urban areas are supposed to have more of those.

In the end, MoCA went on the record as voting unanimously to support the comprehensive-plan amendment proposed to change the zoning from single-family to Lowrise 1 on the site. Since MoCA allows anyone present to vote, those who came to show support were part of the vote too.

Earlier in the meeting:

Click to read the rest of Townhouse-rezone endorsement and more @ Morgan Community Association’s quarterly meeting…

Photos/updates: The city’s Neighborhood Summit @ Seattle Center

April 5, 2014 at 9:14 am | In Neighborhoods, West Seattle news | 11 Comments

(Photos by WSB co-publisher Patrick Sand)

FIRST REPORT, 9:14 AM: We’re just arriving at Seattle Center to check out the Neighborhood Summit (agenda here) that’s a fulfillment of one of Mayor Ed Murray‘s campaign promises – under way at the Exhibition Hall (3rd/Mercer) until 1 pm.

(Video feed no longer active but keeping box as a placeholder for archived video Monday)
We’ll be adding some photos and updates, but for starters, clicking the “play” button above should take you to live coverage from Seattle Channel, including remarks from the mayor before 9:30 or so. If you’re there and posting to social-media channels, #SNS2014 is the hashtag. More to come.

10:03 AM UPDATE: We’ve been here for about 45 minutes. The mayor has spoken, stressing that this isn’t a self-contained event, but meant to be “the beginning of the conversation.” Here’s a 15-second Instagram video clip we took, panning the space here at the Exhibition Hall, as he spoke:

We’ve seen West Seattleites from Admiral, Arbor Heights, Fairmount, Genesee, Morgan, North Delridge, Pigeon Point, Westwood; we’ve seen South Park’ers. We’ll have a photo gallery later; we’ve put up cameraphone pix on our Twitter feed at twitter.com/westseattleblog (you should be able to see it even if you don’t use Twitter – that’s the web address). There IS password-free wi-fi here, and it seems to work pretty well.

10:32 AM UPDATE: Former City Councilmember Jim Street (above, at podium on the stage, with the mayor at left) is speaking and taking Q/A; most of those who’ve spoken seem to have issues more for current councilmembers – including land use – microhousing and rowhouses have come up. Now, a question about crime/public safety, which Street again can’t answer as he’s not a current councilmember. (Maybe the council should have been here. If they are, we haven’t seen them yet.)

11:34 AM UPDATE: We had to leave midway through, but coverage continues in the video window above (currently, it’s a discussion about the search for a new SDOT director) and on Twitter. Re: council presence, the mayor subsequently mentioned Councilmember Sally Bagshaw was there – not surprising since she chairs the Seattle Public Utilities and Neighborhoods Committee – and there was a Twitter mention of Councilmember Tom Rasmussen.

The first declared candidate for the West Seattle-specific City Council seat in next year’s elections (District 1), Chas Redmond, was there too (above right, with North Delridge’s Dorsol Plants at left).

12:23 PM UPDATE: Mayor is giving closing remarks (it’s open another half-hour, but speeches/discussions are ending onstage) and says more than 600 people participated in person, in addition to others online or watching the stream. He also gives a shoutout to Kathy Nyland, who put it together.

5:26 PM: Finally getting a chance to add our photos – interspersed above and below.

Above, Amanda Leonard and Holli Margell from North Delridge. Next, Sharonn Meeks from Fairmount and Cindi Barker from Morgan:

Cindi was also there for official “peer networking” regarding preparedness. Next, SPD’s crime-prevention coordinator for the Southwest (and South) Precinct, Mark Solomon:

Next, Jim Cavin from Admiral and Mary Fleck from the West Seattle Green Space Coalition:

Below, from left, Amanda Kay Helmick and Joe Szilagyi from WWRHAH and the West Seattle Transportation Coalition, with Deb Barker from Morgan:

Pete Spalding from Pigeon Point:

She’s not from West Seattle but much WS-related information has been shared over the years on the Seattle Schools Community Forum website by Melissa Westbrook:

(A few more to add – stand by)

Meantime, here are a few links potentially of interest:

-“Live blog” coverage by city staff, with notes, curated tweets (including a couple of ours) and photos

-Coalition for an Affordable Living Seattle was handing out flyers outside, headed “Developer impact fees now! Growth controls now!” with a URL that isn’t working, but we found them online here

Going to the city’s Neighborhood Summit? See the agenda

April 1, 2014 at 2:35 pm | In Neighborhoods, West Seattle news | 6 Comments

This Saturday at Seattle Center‘s Exhibition Hall (Mercer/3rd), Mayor Ed Murray hosts the “Neighborhood Summit” he promised to have within 100 days of taking office. If you’re thinking of going, the agenda is now available so you can make up your mind – or, if you know you’re going, you can preplan how to spend the four hours. See it here. Child care and light refreshments are promised; we see at least one West Seattle name on the list of “peer networking” participants – Cindi Barker, community-preparedness guru, who has provided lots of info here on WSB to help you get prepared. The summit’s scheduled 9 am-1 pm on Saturday, though the agenda looks conducive to dropping in for just part of it if you can’t commit to that entire time frame.

Pedestrian changes for business districts? City survey extended

March 31, 2014 at 4:10 pm | In Neighborhoods, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

Almost every local community council got a visit in recent months from Aly Pennucci of the city Department of Planning and Development regarding potential changes in “pedestrian zoning” for business districts As part of the city’s comment-gathering, an online survey was made available. Community leaders just got word that the survey has been extended for another month – so if you haven’t taken it yet, go here. It’ll ask you first about a specific “region” – West Seattle is in the south region, so start there; next screen will ask you about specific zones. Our first coverage of this issue during a local community-council meeting was at the Morgan Community Association‘s meeting in January.

Admiral Neighborhood Association: Adopt-A-Street tomorrow; new meeting location

March 7, 2014 at 9:22 am | In Neighborhoods, West Seattle news | Comments Off

News from the Admiral Neighborhood Association:

ADOPT-A-STREET CLEANUP TOMORROW: Join ANA on Saturday morning by the main entrance of Metropolitan Market (WSB sponsor), 9 am, to help clean up nearby streets. As noted by ANA president David Whiting in the announcement, “As always beverages, refreshments and sack lunches are provided, as well as gloves and tools.” So all you have to bring is yourself! (Youth helpers welcome, too.)

MEETINGS MOVE TO THE SANCTUARY: After years of meeting in the basement at Admiral Congregational Church, ANA is moving its regular meeting site starting this month. Meetings will now be at The Sanctuary at Admiral (northeast corner of 42nd/Lander), starting next Tuesday (March 11th), 7 pm. Speaking of which:

TUESDAY’S AGENDA: Pedestrian retail zoning – a topic at several other local community-group meetings this winter – will be discussed, along with the WSHS “Steps at Stevens” pedestrian-connection project.

Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council looks back at Year 1, ahead at what’s in the works

March 7, 2014 at 8:59 am | In Neighborhoods, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

One year into its existence, West Seattle’s newest community council – Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights, aka WWRHAH – has taken a look back at that momentous first year (here’s our report on their 2013 launch meeting). Chair Amanda Kay Helmick delivered a “state of the council” report at the monthly meeting earlier this week. It’s part of the meeting report that secretary Joe Szilagyi published to the WWRHAH website. He also noted toward the start of the report that the meeting (and therefore the wrapup) also touched on these questions:

How is the public feedback on the Roxbury safety study?

Are we going to re-channelize (road diet) Roxbury?

Should we have bike lanes on Roxbury?

Should we move some bus layovers to Roxbury from Westwood?

How are the safety changes going for the Westwood Rapid Ride stop?

Are buses causing shaking detectable as earthquakes on Barton, 26th, and Roxbury?

When will SDOT start working on 35th Ave SW safety?

Will re-hydrating the bog in Roxhill Park help reduce flooding across West Seattle?

Interested in any of the above? See the report here – and note that WWRHAH (all volunteers, like all local community councils) could use your help as its advocacy and other community work continues.

Mayor sets date for ‘Seattle Neighborhood Summit’: April 5th

February 10, 2014 at 2:54 pm | In Neighborhoods, West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 7 Comments

Mayor Ed Murray promised he would hold a “Neighborhood Summit” within 100 days of taking office – and today he’s announced the place and date: 9 am-1 pm Saturday, April 5th, in the Pavilion Room at Seattle Center. From the announcement:

Summit planners say this is the first step in what they hope to be an ongoing relationship aimed at rebuilding the trust between the City and neighborhoods. In addition to holding this traditional forum, they plan to use social media and technology so more can participate whether or not they are able to attend.

That part of the effort starts now – with this new city website. It includes a survey to which you can respond right now; go here.

See which West Seattle spots are proposed for new ‘pedestrian zoning’ – and a dozen other topics @ Morgan Community Association

January 19, 2014 at 9:13 am | In Neighborhoods, West Seattle news | 30 Comments

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

“That was amazing,” exclaimed one attendee at the end of what was probably the busiest community-council meeting this month. In the basement at The Kenney (WSB sponsor), one room away from bingo, spanning 2 hours and 20 minutes on Wednesday night, it was the quarterly meeting of the Morgan Community Association, with sixteen items on the original agenda – not counting what president Deb Barker had said she was “adding and subtracting” in the minutes before the meeting.

Hottest of the 13 topics we’re recapping is one of interest even if you DON’T live or work in Morgan – yet another city zoning initiative, one that arrived with preliminary recommendations even before the “public engagement” phase had begun:


(Click image to see full-size citywide map)
PEDESTRIAN ZONE MAPPING PROJECT: The briefing was provided by city Department of Planning and Development rep Aly Pennucci. She says this zoning overlay, if ultimately approved and implemented, would “add some requirements for new development” – including that the ground level of buildings in designated “pedestrian zones” would include commercial activity. She says the project has “started and stopped a few times over the years.” In 2012, the City Council decided about 60 areas around the city could potentially be part of this zoning – they’re shown in the map excerpted above (see the full citywide map here), and here’s the list of proposed West Seattle zones – each name links to a city doc that, if you scroll down, shows a specific map of that area (the titles are exactly as designated by the city):

Delridge Way SW between SW Brandon St. and SW Juneau St.
Westwood Park (Delridge Way SW at SW Roxbury St.)
Morgan Junction
35th Ave. SW at SW Morgan St.
35th Ave. SW at SW Holden St.
35th Ave. SW at SW Barton St.
35th Ave. SW and SW Roxbury St.
Harbor Ave. SW – N of Fairmount Ave. SW
Admiral

In some areas, this zoning could potentially further reduce parking requirements, Pennucci noted – doubling the amount of commercial space exempt from the requirement (from 2,500 square feet to 5,000 square feet). She said this process also would formalize some of the emergency rules passed last fall after low-density commercial projects were proposed in high-density zones (specifically the potential CVS pharmacies here in West Seattle and a few other neighborhoods). She said it’s now time for community input – since what she called the “very preliminary recommendation” is out there. If an area disagrees with a recommendation to be included, the city wants to hear why, she said. Home page for the project is here; you can answer an online survey here.

The city’s assessment of Morgan Junction had holes poked into it from the start – no, it is NOT low auto/pedestrian-conflict zone, no, it is NOT a sidewalks-in-good-shape zone, pointed out Barker and MoCA vice president Chas Redmond. There are physical limitations to the space, Redmond pointed out, calling the zoning proposal “an attempt by DPD to put something into place that is not needed.”

“This is good feedback,” Pennucci responded, even as she continued to hear strong words of concern and criticism. One person finally observed that overall, “we have a lot of anger at DPD” – which Pennucci did not dispute, semi-laughing, “I feel it!” – so, she was told, some time should be taken to look more calmly at this before the city plows forward with it.

Then there was the point that this happened to be the first city presentation to a West Seattle neighborhood group, while nine proposed zones are on the “preliminary recommendation” map. This was noted by meeting attendee Dave Montoure, asking when the city would be presenting to the West Seattle Junction Association and West Seattle Chamber of Commerce (both groups he has chaired). Bennucci replied she can be there by request, saying Morgan just put in an early request.

Before she wrapped up, Redmond speaks up again and says Morgan is already pedestrian-friendly, but some parts of this recommendation would go unnecessarily far: Until we “get rid of internal-combustion vehicles, we’re not going to get rid of the Shell station” (on California a block south of Fauntleroy), for example. And with increasing fury, he took issue with the fact that DPD had come forward with a “preliminary recommendation” before any community conversation.

Climbing out of the hot seat, Pennucci said final recommendations are supposed to be presented to Mayor Murray by late summer/early fall.

Now, highlights rom the rest of the MoCA agenda – shorter recaps ahead, starting with more development-related info:

Click to read the rest of See which West Seattle spots are proposed for new ‘pedestrian zoning’ – and a dozen other topics @ Morgan Community Association…

Neighbor Appreciation Day: 3 West Seattle fire-station open houses

January 15, 2014 at 6:08 pm | In Neighborhoods, West Seattle news | Comments Off

Plans are in the works for Seattle’s Neighbor Appreciation Day on February 8th – and fire-station open houses are among the most popular features every year. The schedule is out, and it looks like this year, you’ll be able to stop by Fire Station 11 at 16th/Holden in Highland Park, Fire Station 32 at 38th/Alaska in The Triangle, and/or Fire Station 37 at 35th/Holden in Sunrise Heights. Tour times on February 8th (a Saturday) will be 11 am-1 pm. What else can you do on Neighbor Appreciation Day? See the suggestions here (including e-card templates).

Roxhill Park safety updates, ideas @ WWRHAH: New police patrols, zero tolerance for youth drinking, more

November 6, 2013 at 9:45 pm | In Neighborhoods, West Seattle news | 15 Comments

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Less than a year into its existence, the Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council has taken on some of the area’s thorniest issues – safety in Roxhill Park, Westwood Village, and environs.

Chair Amanda Kay Helmick called it “the meat of the meeting” for WWRHAH last night; she was one of the volunteers who helped build Roxhill’s new Castle Park playground and says she’s there with her family at least three times a week. She wants to apply for a grant for the park – but wants public input “what should we do with the money?”

That opened a discussion about the park’s components – which go far beyond the newly renovated playground and the newly installed skatepark. Safety topped the list because of incidents in recent months from armed robberies to an incident just last weekend in which someone was threatened with a knife at the playground.

The discussion led to revelations including a Seattle Police announcement that the park now has regular foot patrols.

Click to read the rest of Roxhill Park safety updates, ideas @ WWRHAH: New police patrols, zero tolerance for youth drinking, more…

Morgan Community Association: The park, the tank, Rapid Ride revisited, and more

October 22, 2013 at 3:00 am | In Neighborhoods, West Seattle news | 11 Comments

At its quarterly meeting, the Morgan Community Association voted to support the new West Seattle Transportation Coalition, got an update on the about-to-be-built sewer-overflow-control project at Lowman Beach, heard about efforts to improve cleanliness and safety at Morgan Junction Park, discussed a new development – and that was just the start:

(WSB photo, taken the day after the MoCA meeting)
FRIENDS OF MORGAN JUNCTION PARKS: In addition to the volunteer work this group is doing, talk turned to those who loiter in Morgan Junction Park. Park volunteers say they have engaged the people who hang out, but so far the loiterers are not complying with trash rules. And they say not enough people are calling 911 when they see rulebreaking; more should be making those calls, for wider community representation. The behavior is getting worse, it appears – one week earlier, there was a big drinking party, and a big bonfire was started in the park; Seattle Fire came but police were never able to respond because that happened concurrently with the Westwood Village-area stabbings. To address this, MoCA is working with police to find an official sign to put up regarding, “Drinking is against the rules, here’s who to call.” Also call in matters of public safety – somebody passed out, someone injured … “Don’t be shy,” said Friends of MJP’s Tod Rodman. “It’s your park – if people are there, the bad stuff will (recede),” added FoMJP’s Barry White.

Back to the group’s main work: One more planting and mulching event will be happening in early November, an afternoon event after the Seahawks game, White said. “It’s been a great ride, and we’re getting more and more people involved.” The triangle park just north of West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor) had a great planting party recently with 20 volunteers from Peace Lutheran Church in Gatewood. The current planting project in the streetside strips by Thriftway is the store’s doing, it was revealed in subsequent discussion. Next, the Friends of MJP is going to look at the Fauntleroy/Juneau triangle property to find out how it can help.

Click to read the rest of Morgan Community Association: The park, the tank, Rapid Ride revisited, and more…

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