What can your Department of Neighborhoods do for/with you? Hear/ask at Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community CouncilNovember 29, 2015 at 5:40 pm | In Arbor Heights, Neighborhoods, West Seattle news, Westwood | 1 Comment
As the long holiday weekend ebbs, the everyday world gets ready to rev. So, we’re looking ahead: On Tuesday night (December 1st), the Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council has assembled a lineup of guests that’ll be of interest regardless of whether you live/work in those neighborhoods or not. The meeting starts at 6:15 pm, and after some regular WWRHAH committee updates, here’s the main event, as announced by co-chair Amanda Kay Helmick:
6:35-7:45: Department of Neighborhoods (DoN): At our September brainstorm meeting, several residents requested information about P-Patches, grants, and painted crosswalks. We will have a whole team of DoN folks to answer your questions!
Tim Wolfe: Community Investments Division Director
Juan Martinez: Neighborhood Matching Fund Project Manager
Rich Macdonald: P-Patch Garden Program Supervisor OR
Bunly Yun: P-Patch Garden Program Coordinator
Kathy Nyland: Director
Howard Wu: Seattle Department of Transportation
Kerry Wade: Neighborhood District Coordinator
WWRHAH meets upstairs at Southwest Library (35th SW & SW Henderson).
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Updates took centerstage, rather than any major new issues, at the Alki Community Council‘s annual meeting.
And as is often the case at local neighborhood-council meetings, the first round came from police:
@ Junction Neighborhood Organization: Emergency hub; street lighting; crime-fighting plan; public-safety survey…November 18, 2015 at 3:57 pm | In Neighborhoods, West Seattle news | No Comments
Three notes from last night’s Junction Neighborhood Organization meeting:
EMERGENCY HUB: JuNO has been working on setting up another hub for the West Seattle Emergency Communication Hubs, closer to the heart of The Junction, and its thousands of apartment residents. Ellen West from the JuNO board is working on the project. While they’ve obtained a city grant to help start and equip the hub, they’ll be looking for donations to cover the rest of the cost. West and JuNO director René Commons plan to talk to some of the new buildings’ managers/owners in hope they’ll want to chip in. West also will be talking with building managers about their emergency-response plans.
STREET LIGHTING: One of JuNO’s 2016 priorities, according to Commons, will be a followup on lighting concerns along the west side of 42nd SW. She’s had a walking tour with a Seattle City Light representative but hopes to keep up the pressure for improvements; JuNO had been working with Councilmember Tom Rasmussen and now will need to work with whomever is elected in the too-close-to-call District 1 City Council race.
CRIME STATS: In the first round of the city’s development of “micro-policing plans,” The Junction was lumped in with a few other neighborhoods, but Southwest Precinct Operations Lt. Ron Smith says that will change, and soon The Junction will be broken out into its own plan area – which also means its own distinct set of crime stats on the new SPD “Dashboard.”
PUBLIC-SAFETY SURVEY: Researcher Jennifer Burbridge, who’s been working with the Southwest Precinct on projects including the micro-policing plans, is circulating one more reminder: If you haven’t already answered the citywide Public Safety Survey, please take a few minutes to do it – start here.
To join the JuNO mailing list for updates on meetings and projects, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you live in east West Seattle, that unfamiliar person who looks to be checking out your residence might just be a King County Assessor’s Office appraiser doing her/his job. This announcement explains:
The Assessor’s Office annually values over 700,000 properties in King County, and physically inspects 1/6th of all properties.
Starting this fall and continuing into Spring of 2016, appraisers from the Assessor’s Office will be conducting physical inspections of properties (existing residences, residences under construction and vacant parcels) in East West Seattle, Georgetown, South Park. Appraisers generally conducts physical inspection from 7:00 AM to 4:00 PM four days per week, Monday thru Thursday and are identifiable by their County ID badges.
This annual process allows appraisers to verify and update any property characteristic changes that might have occurred since the last physical inspection. For information on your property, please visit the Assessor’s eReal Property Search at www.kingcounty.gov/assessor
Morgan Community Association, report #2: From police to politics, with housing and traffic calming along the wayOctober 26, 2015 at 10:23 am | In Neighborhoods, West Seattle news | 9 Comments
We’ve already reported two of the many topics covered at the quarterly Morgan Community Association meeting this past week – but there was much more.
Those topics included the recent arsons – the most recent one had happened in Morgan Junction earlier that day, so everyone was on guard. Engine 37 firefighters came to share fire-deterring tips (as circulated here earlier in the week); Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis came with an update on the investigation (we recorded it on video and added it to the update we’d published a few hours earlier).
SPD was originally on the MoCA agenda to talk about the area’s “micropolicing plan” and the new citywide Public Safety Survey, both with Seattle University involved, so Seattle U research intern Jennifer Burbridge, who’s been working with the SW Precinct and neighborhood groups, joined the presentation.
Morgan’s key areas of concern:
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Two hot topics brought a big turnout to last night’s Admiral Neighborhood Association meeting – about 50 people at the start.
SW ADMIRAL WAY SAFETY PROJECT: As shown here earlier in the day, SDOT has revised its plan for rechannelizing SW Admiral Way west of California SW. The original proposal, introduced at April’s ANA meeting and discussed at an at-times-raucous “open house” in May, included removal of more than 200 parking spaces, and drawn howls of protest from some who live along the stretch, not just because of the reduction, but because it would have left some stretches with parking only on one side. The new configuration would remove the center turn lane in spots instead.
Dawn Schellenberg and Sam Woods from SDOT led the presentation about the revised version, going again through contextual information about collisions and bicycle use, with questions that had emerged before emerging again from attendees – how many collisions were the fault of drunk drivers, how many bicycle riders are using the road, etc. Numerous documents are now online – scroll down this page to find them.
The new plan includes a reduction of lane width – SDOT says wider lanes encourage speeding. Currently, between 63rd and 60th, the drive lanes are 12 feet wide, and will be narrowed to 11 feet. Between 60th and Stevens, there will be a “door zone” buffering drivers from the new bike lane (and vice versa) on the downhill side. Going uphill, the buffer will be between the bicycle rider and the driver. Between Stevens and Lander, the lanes are 11.5′ and will narrow to 10.5′; between Lander and 47th, “where we didn’t see a lot of parking no matter what time of year we studied it,” … and between 44th and 47th, standard bike lanes, and between 44th and California, no changes, to maintain the left-turn lane.
Additional safety features are now under study on the west end – maybe an all-ways stop at 59th/Admiral, which currently only has a pedestrian signal, leaving people to be confused about traveling in the non-controlled directions when someone is using the signal.
On first take, the revisions did not seem to be receiving rave reviews.
Two reader reports to share:
ALLEY VANDALISM ALERT: A neighbor near this alley between the 3200 block of California SW and of 44th SW wanted to warn people about that knocked-over-by-vandals portable toilet, the contents of which subsequently spilled onto the alley. It’s a busy alley, the neighbor says, used by residents and their pets, but no cleanup yet.
ILLEGAL OFF-ROADING: From a Riverview resident, who’s asking neighbors to be watchful:
This afternoon, I was out walking when at least four young kids on dirt bikes rode down 12th Ave and into Riverview Playfield. As I walked, I noticed they were going up and down to the Pee-Wee fields. There were families in the park at the time. These are kids that are too young to have drivers licenses, on vehicles that are not licensed for street use, riding not only on the street but into parks and greenbelt where they are not allowed. One was carrying a shovel.
On the walk back, I saw two ride through the pee-wee fields and into the greenbelt, NE of 12th & Holly. I could also hear a shovel being used. I called 911 and reported it. They seemed responsive, but I don’t know if the kids will be there by the time the police get there. Also, they can easily scatter, so likely will get away. The thing to do would be to have a few police officers up in the Riverview Playfield parking lot waiting and then have an officer approach from the utility road off of West Marginal Way. The kids would ride back toward the parking lot and home.
I would like to encourage my neighbors and anyone using the park to call 911 if they see anyone going on dirt bikes into the greenbelt. You aren’t even supposed to be in the greenbelt on a bicycle, let alone a dirt bike. They were riding on crushed rock trails that Parks is working on, likely causing damage to them. Nature Consortium has had plantings destroyed by these kids on their bikes.
The forest in that area is part of the West Duwamish Greenbelt, which the NC works year-round to restore.
Concerned about safety/crime prevention in Admiral, particularly at Hamilton Viewpoint Park, where a robbery three weeks ago led to a shooting miles away? Want to be among the first to find out how SDOT has changed the SW Admiral Way Safety Project plan in response to community feedback? Those are just two of the topics on the agenda for tomorrow night’s Admiral Neighborhood Association meeting, as you can see on the flyer embedded above. All are welcome at the 7 pm Tuesday (September 8th) meeting at The Sanctuary at Admiral (northeast corner of 42nd SW and SW Lander).
VIDEO: Most-attended Summer Concerts at Hiawatha series, ever! Admiral Neighborhood Association shares highlights & thanksSeptember 3, 2015 at 1:51 pm | In Neighborhoods, West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | Comments Off
One week ago tonight, the Admiral Neighborhood Association‘s Summer Concerts at Hiawatha series wrapped up this year’s six-show series – one that will go in the record books as its most-attended year yet! From ANA president David Whiting:
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. A tip of our hats to Walter Harley and Christian Heilman, our sound engineers this summer, and Mark Jaroslaw, our videographer [concert highlights above]. These concerts simply wouldn’t be possible without the generosity of all of the following sponsors:
Associated Recreation Council
The Johnson Team/Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices
Seattle Parks and Recreation
West Seattle Blog
Alki Mail and Dispatch
Brent Amacher State Farm Insurance
Bob and Dawn Brown
Elliott Bay Brewery
Head to Toe Day Spa
Little Gym of West Seattle
Kayle Shulenberger, Speech Pathologist
Thunder Road Guitars
West Seattle Fit Moms
More than 4,300 people (our highest total audience count ever!) listened and danced to music at one or more of the six concerts. If you enjoy community activities like this, your community council needs to hear from you. Most of them take the month of August off, and reconvene their monthly meetings in September. West Seattle Blog announces all West Seattle community councils’ meetings and their activities. This Saturday at 9:00 am, ANA will conduct our quarterly Adopt-A-Street Cleanup, convening at Metropolitan Market, and our next meeting is 7:00 pm, Tuesday, September 8th, at The Sanctuary at Admiral.
We’re proud to have been a sponsor every year since ANA launched the series in 2009 – this was year seven!
6:14 PM: It’s Night Out 2015 – which means dozens of side streets closed for block parties, with neighbors celebrating each other and intensifying their commitment to look out for each other. We’ll be stopping by some parties for photos; we’re also happy to receive yours and add it to the coverage. Different e-mail address than usual – email@example.com – or you can share via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram (you’ll find us at all three as /westseattleblog) so we can re-share here – thank you!
6:30 PM: First photo in, above, is from Imelda‘s block party at 61st/Beach Drive – we’re hearing about lots of parties with live bands this year! We’re stopping at another one right now, 35th/105th in Arbor Heights – thanks to Darren for letting us know.
Pop-A-Shot (photo above) and Putt-Putt Golf are happening at the AH party, as are hot dogs, hamburgers, popcorns, and dozens of neighbors having a great time.
6:49 PM: We’re heading north now, just arriving in Gatewood, where Ellen‘s party is getting a visit from Reptile Man.
(WSB photo, substituted for the not-as-clear Instagram image originally posted)
Lucy the alligator is one of the friends he brought along. This party was near 41st/Rose.
6:59 PM: Just tweeted by Amanda:
— Amanda Kay Helmick (@ak_helmick) August 5, 2015
We’re now arriving at the 37th/Raymond/Graham block party, invited by Aaron (thank you!) – these neighbors also are celebrating with a barbecue. Some party participants just paused to pose for us:
(Update – here’s our full-group photo from that party:)
Another block party’s youngest attendees are in these photos shared via Twitter:
— Bit of Butter (@BitofButter) August 5, 2015
— Bit of Butter (@BitofButter) August 5, 2015
Headed now to the Fairmount neighborhood south of The Triangle, where four streets of neighbors are gathering for Night Out. This seems to be the Year of the Band at Night Out, peninsula-wide:
Sharonn invited us to this party, which is bringing together neighbors from 35th, 36th, 37th, 38th, as well as Edmunds itself. We’ll add the group photo later. (Added – here it is!)
7:20 PM: In High Point, the big party’s in Commons Park – that’s where Tim photographed Lucy dancing to the music near the bouncy house:
Many parties double as informational events; at the HP party, until about 8 pm, you can also talk with SDOT about the 35th SW Safety Project. From one HP to another – the next tweeted photo is courtesy of Marcia in Highland Park:
— Marcia Ventura (@marciaventura) August 5, 2015
7:38 PM: Night Out and Election Night parties are about to overlap (22 minutes left to vote!) – but we’re still in Night Out mode, stopping now in the 3200 block of 36th SW, thanks to Andrea‘s invitation. This party has guinea pigs!
(Added: We learned via an Instagram comment that they are Oreo, Vanilla, and Marshmallow.)
8:05 PM: Still partying:
— Matthew Boehm (@mjboehm267) August 5, 2015
9:08 PM: Had to break away from Night Out coverage to report on the election results and talk to a few candidates. But we’re back at HQ, where we’ll add the photos we took, and we’re now adding several more photos e-mailed to us (thank you!). First, from the 6700 block of 38th SW:
From Sara in Belvidere:
— Sara Gaccione (@saragaccione) August 5, 2015
Also from Sara – 24 kids at that same block party!
From Westwood – e-mailed by Michael:
He explained, “Our annual block party is still going strong but we wanted to share this awesome cake our neighbors Michael & Randi brought. We’re on 34th between Kenyon & Elmgrove, and we love our neighborhood!”
Next, from Chris at 15th and Trenton:
“Great turnout in our neighborhood!” Chris added. Next – Darryll‘s photo from 8800 block of 17th SW, when firefighters stopped by:
Max sent the next photo from the 2700 block of 36th SW:
From Long Bach Nguyen in Gatewood, the California/Portland block party:
Also in Gatewood – the 45th/Austin party – thanks to Kera for the photo:
On 36th SW between Findlay and Brandon, Jenny’s block-party neighbors gathered for a group pic:
At 45th and Edmunds on the southwest side of The Junction, a traffic-stopping street-closure sign:
Thanks to Michelle for that photo. Over at 16th/Trenton, Steve says his party got a little “goofy”:
He also reports, “We had an awesome time tonight. Engine 11, ping pong, basketball, bikes, soccer, hand-turned ice cream and tons of great neighbors.”
Earlier in the week, we showed you one of the Night Out signs on Pigeon Point. Here’s part of the party:
Thanks to Pete for the pic; Pigeon Point visitors included Southwest Precinct Captain Pierre Davis.
Near 48th/Morgan, Deb‘s party was visited by Matt from AlertSeattle:
That’s the new city service we mentioned on Tuesday morning – sign up for emergency alerts (and more). Finally, on 34th SW south of Camp Long, Susan says she and her neighbors had a “lovely evening” at their party:
“Close to 50-60 folks attended, enjoying great food, wonderful neighbors and awesome music from Hoo Doo Boogaloo” – featured in the video clip she shared:
One more time – THANK YOU to everyone who shared photos and/or invited us to come by (sorry the election overlap cut our travels short) – and congratulations on a neighborly night all over West Seattle.
(One side of Pigeon Point’s Night Out sign; art by Jim Sander, photo from Pete Spalding)
Tomorrow night, hundreds of neighbors around West Seattle – among thousands citywide – will hang out together in their neighborhoods during the annual Night Out, which started with a focus on crime prevention and safety, and evolved to an all-around celebration of neighbors’ solidarity. If you want to close your (non-arterial) street for a Night Out party, you need to be sure it’s registered via Seattle Police by 5 pm today – go here to do that, and to find printable flyer/signage templates. Registered parties also have a chance for police or firefighters to stop by during the official 6-9 pm party timeframe.
P.S. If you’re photographing your Night Out gathering, we’d be thrilled to get a photo, to include in our as-it-happens coverage tomorrow night – firstname.lastname@example.org (or share via the WSB Facebook page, since we can download from there for website use) – thank you!
(From 36th/Findlay/Brandon, one of the Night Out parties we visited last year)
Having a block party for Night Out this year? It’s only a week and a half away, and if you want to close your street, you need to make sure you’re signed up via Seattle Police – getting on the list also puts you in line for a potential police/fire visit during the festivities. Night Out originated as a celebration of neighborhood unity, safety, and preparedness, and while some parties are simply casual potlucks, we’ve covered some over the years with music, games, even bouncy houses. Tuesday, August 4th, is the night; 6-9 pm is the official time window (some start and/or end earlier); here’s how to sign up.
P.S. Team WSB is always out on Night Out covering West Seattle block parties, so if you wouldn’t mind us stopping by for a photo or two, please e-mail us the location/time – email@example.com – thank you. (And extra thanks to the party point people who already sent word of theirs, even before we asked!) We also welcome YOUR photo, same address, during/after your party, to include in WSB coverage.
Eight years and eight months after 26-year-old Matthew Tatsuo Nakata was hit and killed at 47th and Admiral, the intersection finally has a signal – a safety improvement that some were seeking even before his death. The then-City Councilmember for whom Mr. Nakata worked at the time, David Della, joined community leaders and city reps tonight at an event commemorating the completion of the signal and crosswalks at the intersection. Among them: Past and present leaders of the Admiral Neighborhood Association had advocated tirelessly for the signal, including a rally in November 2011, close to the fifth anniversary of Mr. Nakata’s death:
Earlier that year, SDOT had again turned down ANA’s request for a signal, but they wouldn’t take “no” for an answer. Almost two years later, then-Mayor Mike McGinn proposed a “flashing beacon”; but Councilmember Tom Rasmussen and his council colleagues changed the budget to include funding for a full-fledged signal. Construction finally began this spring, and the light went into service last week. One more feature: RainWorks art by Peregrine Church :
It’s only revealed when the sidewalk is wet:
(ANA president David Whiting says they’ll be leaving a container of water nearby all week so you can test it for yourself.)
ADDED: Here’s our video showing what Whiting, Rasmussen, Della, and SDOT director Scott Kubly said, about 12 minutes followed by, in the last minute of the video, the water pour that “revealed” the art:
A corner on the north side of the intersection has another RainWorks creation with a similar theme:
Though Kubly acknowledged arriving at SDOT late in the process to get this project in place, he said it was one he heard about frequently:
The completion brought big smiles from Katy Walum and Don Wahl:
She was ANA president during the biggest push to make the signal reality; he has operated Alki Mail and Dispatch at the corner for many years and has seen and heard both crashes and close calls for too long.
It’s the busiest community-council meeting in West Seattle – once a quarter, lots of talk about – so here’s an advance agenda alert for the Morgan Community Association‘s quarterly meeting tomorrow (Wednesday, July 15th), 7 pm, at The Kenney (WSB sponsor):
7:05: Special guest, Debbie Goetz from city Office of Emergency Management
7:25 MoCA Minute Updates
• 35th Ave SW Safety Design meeting July 16 at ** Library
• MoCA in the Hi-Yu Parade – July 18
• Morgan Bike Rack update
• Nazarene Church Rezone Update
• 2015 Morgan Junction Festival Wrap-up
7:30 Old Business
Murray CSO Briefing
Morgan cut-through traffic study
Morgan Junction Business Mixer
NPSF Morgan Junction Sidewalk Improvement Grant
Nazarene Church Comprehensive Plan Amendment status
8:10 New Business
SW Precinct Focus Group Interest
KAWS (Kulture and Arts on the West Side) Endorsement Request
Morgan Neighborhood Plan Update
SWDC Budget Recommendation
Land Use Updates
PICK A DATE Morgan Festival 2016: June 11 or 18 or 25
8:45 By Laws
Voting on Proposed By-Laws Changes
MoCA meets in the lower meeting-room area at The Kenney (7125 Fauntleroy Way SW), all welcome.
You’re invited to the next meeting of the Junction Neighborhood Organization, 6:30 pm Tuesday (July 14th) at the Senior Center of West Seattle. From JuNO director René Commons:
Please join us for this coming Tuesday night’s meeting at the West Seattle Senior Center – Nucor room, 6:30 pm.
6:35: Kelly Enright, Customer Care Director, Seattle City Light
Topic: Improving Lighting in West Seattle
What is Seattle City Light doing to review and improve lighting in the West Seattle Junction Urban Hub village? Can the city be accountable to address much needed lighting improvements for public safety in our neighborhood
7:05 Jennifer Burbridge & Lt. Ron Smith, Seattle Police Department
Topic: SPD ‘Micro Community Policing Plans’
Jennifer & Lt. Smith will explain what MCPP is and lead us in ranking of priorities for improving safety in our Alaska Junction & Triangle neighborhoods. Can we ask for more boots on the ground? What are priorities for improvement?
7:20 Miguel Edwards – Sculptor Photographer
Equity / Junction 47 Selected artist
*Miguel will present initial concept for his art installation at the new Equity building in the columns at SW Alaska & 42nd Ave SW
All are welcome – the Senior Center is on the southeast corner of Oregon and California.
Location change for Admiral Neighborhood Association’s Tuesday meeting, after traffic-signal celebrationJuly 10, 2015 at 8:16 pm | In Neighborhoods, Safety, West Seattle news | 1 Comment
New Admiral/47th signal is activated pic.twitter.com/QiSvu02Peb
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) July 9, 2015
As reported here Tuesday, a completion celebration is planned next Tuesday night for the newly completed and activated Admiral/47th/Waite traffic signal. That’s the same night the Admiral Neighborhood Association meets, so president David Whiting has announced the meeting will change locations for the occasion:
Our regular meeting this Tuesday, will have a change of venue to Alki Mail & Dispatch (4700 SW Admiral Way) because ANA will be co hosting a dedication for the new traffic signal at 47th Ave SW & Admiral Way, just before our meeting at 6:30 pm. Installation of the traffic signal was a long-term ANA effort and we should take a moment to celebrate the occasion and thank those who helped make it possible. We will also be revealing some public art.
In his announcement, Whiting also thanked volunteers who helped ANA handle concessions for the 4th of July Parade afterparty last Saturday, mentioned that the group will be part of the July 18th West Seattle Grand Parade, and noted that the Summer Concerts at Hiawatha series will start soon – six consecutive Thursday nights, starting July 23rd (with Carrie Akre up first).
‘All we can promise you is effort’: Neighbors, police, other city reps talk South Delridge troubles @ WWRHAHJune 4, 2015 at 7:26 pm | In Crime, Delridge, Neighborhoods, West Seattle news | 7 Comments
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
It’s the neighborhood where West Seattle’s most-recent murder happened, the still-unsolved shooting death of Stephen Jeffries Jr. on New Year’s Eve 2013:
(WSB photo from April 2014 vigil)
It’s the neighborhood where drive-by gunfire hit at least one car during a rampage two months ago:
(WSB reader photo from April 2015)
And – as a result of those cases and more – South Delridge is a neighborhood where people are pleading for more police presence.
Residents from South Delridge made their case face-to-face with Southwest Precinct police on Tuesday night at this month’s Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council meeting. While they’re not in the boundaries that semi-new council has been serving, that was part of the point – since they are not affiliated with an existing community group, their area doesn’t have its own “micro-policing plan” … yet, though WWRHAH co-chair Amanda Kay Helmick pointed out she had added it as a priority in theirs.
More than two dozen people were in the upstairs meeting room at Southwest Library as neighbors told their stories and heard what police and other city representatives can and can’t do.
(From left, CPT Officers Kiehn and Flores, City Attorney’s Office liaison York, CPT Officer Nicholson)
SPD had four reps, including Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis and three of his four Community Police Team members, Officers Jon Flores, Jonathan Kiehn, and Erin Nicholson. Also there: Matthew York, SW and South Precincts’ liaison from the City Attorney’s Office, plus a representative from the city Department of Planning and Development.
Helmick opened by introducing a resident who brought a list of eight properties that he described as problematic for the neighborhood, with problems from squatters to drug use, and worse.
@ Junction Neighborhood Organization: Spruce developer says ‘thank you’; City Light & Parks on unused sitesMay 13, 2015 at 11:18 am | In Development, Neighborhoods, West Seattle news | 24 Comments
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
What for years was “The Hole” is now, for some, “home.”
Last night, the developer of Spruce (3922 SW Alaska), Tom Lee from Madison Development Group, was among the guests at the Junction Neighborhood Organization‘s monthly meeting. He wasn’t officially on the agenda and didn’t have a presentation, but did answer some questions and offer a few updates:
*With one tower open and another expecting its “certificate of occupancy” soon, 30 apartments already are leased. (Which might explain the moving trucks we spotted while photographing the site this morning, above. Unless they are for …)
*LA Fitness, the project’s sole commercial tenant, is expected to “soft open” this Friday, Lee said he’d been told, provided it passes its last few inspections, including one that will allow the club to fill its pool.
Lee told JuNO he was there mostly to say thanks: “Thank you to everybody for being patient with us – it’s been a long project, a sore thumb in West Seattle for a long time, but it’s very close to being finished now and we’re excited that it’s almost done.” (His company bought the site/project for $32 million in October 2011, three years after the project stalled under previous ownership and its previous name Fauntleroy Place.)
Also at JuNO – a discussion about City Light property:
The mayor’s office has just announced new directors for two city departments – including a new director for the Department of Neighborhoods, though it’s a name many will recognize. Here’s the official announcement:
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray today named Jessica Finn Coven to serve as director of the Office of Sustainability & Environment (OSE) and Kathy Nyland to serve as director of the Department of Neighborhoods (DON). Bernie Matsuno, who has served as director of DON since 2011, will be stepping down effective June 2.
Finn Coven comes to OSE after serving as Washington Director of Climate Solutions since 2011. Previously she worked at the U.S. Climate Action Network and Greenpeace. She serves on the board of directors of Washington Conservation Voters and Puget Sound Sage.
“Jessica brings deep connections to Seattle’s environmental community,” said Murray. “Her commitment to environmental justice will lend strength to Seattle’s new Equity and Environment Initiative. The benefits of progressive environmental policy must reach all our diverse communities more equitably, including low-income families, immigrants and people of color.”
“Anyone who knows Jessica appreciates her deep knowledge of environmental policy,” said Rashad Morris of the Bullitt Foundation. “Her commitment to economic and racial equity makes this an especially strong choice as Seattle works to bridge issues of sustainability and social justice.”
“Seattle has long been a proof point that we can create more broadly shared prosperity by prioritizing a clean and healthy environment,” said Finn Coven. “Mayor Murray has been a leader throughout his career on sustainable transportation solutions and equitable responses to climate change. I’m absolutely thrilled to join his team and to be part of Seattle’s next chapter in clean energy development and ensuring the health of all Seattle’s family.”
Finn Coven will be paid $132,000 and start at OSE on June 12. Finn Coven replaces Jill Simmons, who announced her decision to step down as director of OSE in April.
Nyland is currently a senior policy advisor on land use and planning in the Mayor’s Office of Policy and Innovation. She is a former chief of staff to City Councilmember Sally Bagshaw. Before joining city government, she served on several community councils, founded the Georgetown Merchants’ Association and chaired Seattle’s City Neighborhood Council.
“During my first year as mayor, Kathy has become a trusted advisor,” said Murray. “Her personal history as a community advocate, her strong relationships with neighborhood leaders throughout the city, and her policy acumen make her the natural choice to step into this role. I look forward to her leadership in community conversations on private development, public investments and support for vibrant neighborhoods in our city.”
“I am honored by this opportunity to continue to serve the Mayor and the city in this new role at the Department of Neighborhoods,” says Nyland. “I’ve long believed that our communities are our strongest resources and I look forward to bringing more voices to the table. We want to support and strengthen all our neighborhoods in Seattle.”
Nyland joins DON on June 2 and will earn $136,000.
Matsuno came out of retirement to serve as director of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, intending to serve only a few months, but staying on for more than four years. She developed and expanded new community programs at DON, including the People’s Academy for Community Engagement (PACE) and the Public Outreach and Engagement Liaison (POEL) program to expand civic engagement, especially in underrepresented communities.
“Bernie has been a true champion of our neighborhoods and a helpful advisor to me on community issues and needs,” said Murray. “She has advocated effectively for the community to have a greater voice in City government and their neighborhood – an important role that the department will sustain.”
“I’m very appreciative of the opportunity to serve in Mayor Murray’s administration, but I am looking forward to this new chapter in my life,” said Matsuno. “I’m excited about this transition and intend to continue my professional work for the people of Seattle, as well as volunteer in my community.”
“Bernie Matsuno was one of my first and best hires 27 years ago,” said Jim Diers, former DON director. “Bernie initiated a powerful leadership development program and innovative outreach strategy to ensure that all voices are heard. I’m excited that Bernie is passing the torch to Kathy Nyland, someone who I have long admired for her leadership of the Georgetown neighborhood. I know that she believes deeply in the department’s mission and I can’t wait to see what she does in taking it to the next level.”
Matsuno will continue to lend her expertise to future City community-engagement projects.
About a dozen people rallied on the sand at Alki Beach tonight to call attention to their campaign against 12 cell-phone antennas planned on the roof at Stevens Crest Apartments (61st/Alki), as previewed in our Monday report. They had a bonfire, as announced, burning items representing the antennas, and displayed signs and exhibits about their concerns, which range from the antennas’ appearance to possible health effects. The next major step in their appeal of the city approval of a variance allowing the antennas is a conference later this month, in advance of the July 22nd hearing scheduled in the Hearing Examiner’s chambers downtown.
The rooftop of the Stevens Crest Apartments on the southeast corner of 61st/Stevens in Alki is the latest battleground for concerns over the installation of cell-phone antennas in local neighborhoods. City approval for 12 new antennas on that rooftop has been appealed, with the city Hearing Examiner scheduled to consider the case in July, and before that, opponents who have formed a group called “Stop Alki Cell Towers” have announced a community rally at the beach for next Thursday (May 7th).
We mentioned the opposition to the proposed antennas back in March, when it was one of the issues that community members brought to Mayor Murray during his coffee-conversation stop after a Junction/Triangle walking tour; we also noted that an online petition had been launched. Here’s the “appeal statement” that has been filed with the city; nearby residents say they are worried about health risks, proximity to Alki Elementary (3 blocks east – here’s a map), noise, and visual effects. To the latter point, the following document from the online project file shows simulations of what Verizon and its project team say the antennas would look like if/when installed:
The installation also requires an equipment room – “supporting BTS (Base Transmission System) radio equipment” – in the building basement, according to other documents in the online file, apparently on the parking level, which is beneath three levels of apartments in the building.
Meantime, here’s what “Stop Alki Cell Towers” spokesperson Barb Morgen says about the plan for Thursday’s protest:
The group will be hosting an information rally and demonstration on the beach near the Bathhouse at Alki Beach Park on Thursday, May 7 at 7 pm,
immediately following the PTA meeting at Alki Elementary School. Parents, kids, neighbors and all who use Alki Beach Park are welcome to join us. We will be making S’Mores for the kids, sharing information on the proposed towers, and how everyone can help with the group’s appeal to Seattle DPD to stop the towers from being built. The rally and demonstration will end with replicas of the 12 cell towers being burned in protest, in a fire pit at Alki Beach.
The construction-permit application for the antennas has not received final approval; the review is on hold until there’s a decision on the aforementioned appeal.
EDITOR’S NOTE, ADDED WEDNESDAY: Alki Elementary’s PTA tells us they do NOT have a meeting this Thursday – their next meeting is a week later, on May 14th, and is entirely unrelated to this topic – so we have struck that part of the group’s announcement, above.
(Photo courtesy Paul)
New parking signs are up at Don Armeni Boat Ramp – not new rules, but new signs (though a related rule change is under consideration). Thanks to a tip, we were already working on a story about the new signs before police explained them at last night’s Alki Community Council meeting. The signs, and other ACC toplines, including the SPD plan for Alki this summer, and Homestead/Fir Lodge updates from the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, ahead …
@ Morgan Community Association: Park-expansion update, side-streets traffic, sidewalk work, elections, more…April 17, 2015 at 9:58 am | In Neighborhoods, West Seattle news | 25 Comments
An update on the Morgan Junction Park expansion topped a busy-as-ever agenda for the quarterly Morgan Community Association meeting on Wednesday night:
(WSB file photo)
The city has owned the commercial site north of the park since last year and, according to MoCA president Deb Barker, hopes to have the current tenants, a mini-mart and cleaner, out by the end of May. A week or so of “remediation” (cleanup) work will follow. Development money was part of the plan for the Park District ballot measure, but design/development is still a ways off. One new possibility: Designating SW Eddy, which goes through the site, as a “festival street.”
Speaking of streets …
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
ADMIRAL WAY SAFETY PROJECT: This was the marquee presentation of the night, led by SDOT’s Emily Ehlers. A few hours earlier, we had published a preview with information and maps the city had sent – see that here. Much more information was contained in the slide deck that was presented during the meeting – you can scroll through it atop this story.
What was said, and asked:
Will the city make Neighborhood Conservation Districts available as a tool for interested neighborhoods to use if they choose to preserve their “character”?
City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen has been exploring the idea for a while, presenting a briefing on a study last September, and convened a discussion at the High Point Community Center last night, the second of three around the city (the third and final one is on Phinney Ridge tonight).
One challenge: The legislation to be brought up for a council vote hasn’t been written yet. So while those in attendance had many questions, few answers were available. Here’s the slide deck that was shown:
The first round of meetings is being held primarily to gauge community interest. One point made clear: These districts couldn’t be created to stop development projects already on the drawing board. Questions focused on what would or would not be allowed in a district, and how that might affect property owners’ rights, given that in theory, one could be implemented without unanimous approval of affected owners. Would it come down to something simple like, what kind of fence you could put up? Answer: If there are guidelines for that, yes. Wouldn’t that make this something like a homeowners’ association? another attendee asked. And what about people moving into the district long after it was created?
Other questions: What disclosure will there be for property owners regarding the costs of these districts? What’s the final cost to the city, considering that if an area can be as small as a block, hundreds could spring up. (Rasmussen’s legislative assistant Evan Clifthorne said he expected this to start slowly.) Which city department would run the program? Probably the Department of Neighborhoods - but nothing’s finalized yet.
Again, lots of questions – the answers will depend on what’s in the official proposal. We asked Councilmember Rasmussen afterward about the likelihood of this making it to the finish line before, or after, he leaves office; his view is that if the council sees enough interest from citizens, they’ll carry it through, and public meetings like this one are one way to do that. (Our informal count last night was around 20.)
If you’re interested in the topic and can get to north Seattle, tonight’s meeting is at 6 pm at the Phinney Neighborhood Center, 6532 Phinney Avenue N.
SIDE NOTE: Speaking of centers, we noted that several people were confused about last night’s location (including our crew!). So many meetings are held at Neighborhood House‘s High Point Center (6400 Sylvan Way, not a city-run facility) that any mention of a “center” in High Point seems to send people there. The site of last night’s meeting is officially called High Point Community Center, a Seattle Parks-operated facility at 6920 34th SW.
(First two photos courtesy of John Lang – above, some of the 24 volunteers who helped)
Under the Admiral Way Bridge, volunteers of all ages helped clean up Fairmount Ravine this past Saturday – and as coordinator John Lang reports, the job was a bit easier this year thanks to added assistance from city agencies:
The 23rd annual Fairmount Ravine Cleanup was a big success on Saturday 3/28. Thank you to the 24 volunteers who participated, young kids to seniors; about half removed trash under the Admiral bridge and the other half climbed the steep hillsides to remove invasive ivy from the mature trees.
The community appreciates SDOT reinforcing the fences at the corners of the bridge. It has reduced the amount of illegal activity under the bridge yet the hard working volunteers removed almost one ton of trash from the ravine!
Over 50 garbage size bags were filled with trash filling up the DOC flatbed truck hauling the trash to transfer station. Fortunately, homeless encampments were less of an issue this year.
(WSB photo by Patrick Sand)
We greatly appreciated participation by officers Flores and Lucas, with the Seattle Police Department, sweeping the area of any potential squatters prior to cleanup and helping with traffic control. Three cheers to our local merchants Metropolitan Market, Starbucks, and Zatz a Better Bagel for their generous support of this community effort.
Thank you to everyone who made this year’s cleanup a success. It is a great example of community pride and putting into action the teamwork necessary to tackle a difficult situation.
The ravine is along Fairmount Avenue, a much-used driving, riding, walking, running route between Admiral and east Alki.
(Photo from 2012 Fairmount Ravine cleanup)
One more reminder before tomorrow morning arrives: The more the merrier at the annual Fairmount Ravine Cleanup, starting at 8:30 am Saturday – meet at Fairmount/Forest (map). John Lang says, “Met Market, Starbucks, and Zatz have all graciously agreed to participate in supporting the nourishment portion of the project.” Wear boots and gloves; if you’re interested in helping remove ivy from trees – which is part of the cleanup – please bring a pruning saw and/or large loppers. Whatever time you can spare, the folks of Fairmount will appreciate it. (And if you have a question first, call John @ 206-932-5151.)
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