West Seattle, Washington
Tomorrow morning, the City Council takes its final votes on next year’s budget. One item that’s made the cut so far was the biggest topic at this past week’s Alki Community Council meeting:
When City Councilmember Lisa Herbold walked into Wednesday night’s Delridge Neighborhoods District Council meeting after an all-day budget session, members and attendees happened to be talking about the future conversion of Metro Route 120 to the RapidRide H Line. The discussion never did get around to any of the hot topics that had dominated the day – and some previous days – at City Hall, such as the “head tax” or encampment removals aka “sweeps.”
The RapidRide talk went on for a while, especially concerns that a lot of feedback already had been offered in previous discussions, mostly with SDOT during what was at the time referred only to the Delridge Multimodal Corridor process, but the next round of “engagement” seemed to be oblivious to that. Herbold said her office has been talking with King County/Metro and promised she personally would jump in after votes next week conclude the budget-change process – which she’s been leading as Budget Committee chair, a role gained in a domino process of sorts that began with former Mayor Ed Murray‘s resignation.
The road itself has enough trouble, one attendee said, without even the prospect of more, bigger buses, noting a big hole that we suspect was the same one called to our attention with photos on Twitter:
The Fauntleroy Community Association board just wrapped up tonight’s monthly meeting at its usual location, the historic Fauntleroy Schoolhouse, where more than 15 people crowded into the conference room, several drawn by the biggest topic on the agenda – this site about a block west:
REZONE PROPOSAL: We broke the news two weeks ago about an early-stage proposal to rezone and redevelop 9250 45th SW in the heart of Fauntleroy’s Endolyne business district. Since then, two FCA board members have talked with the site’s owners to find out more.
While the Admiral Neighborhood Association would usually meet this coming Tuesday – the second Tuesday of the month – the November meeting is canceled, president Larry Wymer tells us. But unlike many community groups, ANA will meet in December, so you can re-set your calendar for Tuesday, December 12th (7 pm, The Sanctuary at Admiral, 42nd/Lander).
(New ‘preferred alternative’ upzoning map for Morgan Junction; the interactive citywide map is here)
Even before Thursday’s release of the city’s “preferred alternative” for HALA Mandatory Housing Affordability upzoning, the Morgan Community Association was working to ensure that it doesn’t override a longstanding parts of the community-created neighborhood plan. MoCA had proposed amending the city’s Comprehensive Plan toward that end; then the city countered with its own amendment. What next? Here’s the MoCA reminder about its followup meeting next Tuesday:
As discussed at the October 2017 Morgan Community Association Quarterly Meeting, the MoCA board has reviewed all the moving pieces of MHA and the Comprehensive Plan Amendment proposed for the Morgan Junction Urban Village. We found gaps between what we have heard at the community meetings and what the city is proposing to do with the single family zoned lands inside our Urban Village. Those gaps include the character change of the single family zones, the loss of starter homes and owner occupancy, and few ways to address displacement.
We have identified some specific options to address those gaps to propose for community consideration at a meeting set for Tuesday, November 14, 2017 at The Kenney Community Room, 7125 Fauntleroy Way SW. The meeting is set for 6:30 to 8:30 pm.
The community discussion and voting at this meeting will identify the Morgan Junction-endorsed options to move forward into a neighborhood planning process with the city. We encourage everyone who lives, works, shops, or enjoys the Morgan Junction area to come and weigh in!
We covered MoCA’s October discussion here.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Outside of 911 calls when there’s trouble – what resources can police offer you to address chronic crime/safety problems?
A primer of sorts was presented at Tuesday night’s Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Coalition meeting, led by co-chair Kim Barnes.
The discussion started with Joe Everett, who is the (relatively) new City Attorney’s Office liaison to the Southwest Precinct. He explained that the position is meant to “address chronic problems as they are emerging … before they turn into really big incidents.”
Highlights from the Highland Park Action Committee‘s last meeting until January (since the fourth Thursday conflicts with winter holidays in November and December):
SEATTLE PUBLIC UTILITIES DRAINAGE & WASTEWATER SOUTH OPERATIONS CENTER: SPU project manager Tom Fawthrop presented details of the new facility at the bus yard at 4500 W. Marginal Way SW. It’s a retrofit/remodel project. SPU wants a center here to “position ourselves to be (on this side of) the bridge in case of The Big One” plus reduce the distance their crews go to serve this part of the city – one-fourth of Seattle, Fawthrop pointed out.
We’ve already reported one story from this past week’s quarterly Morgan Community Association meeting – the installation plans for City Light’s new metering system – and we have one more to go, an update on a development project that’s taken a surprise turn. But first, tonight, other hot topics from Wednesday night, first of which was a followup from the city’s HALA-related open house the previous evening:
COMPREHENSIVE-PLAN AMENDMENTS, THE NEXT STEP: While Tuesday night’s open house in High Point (WSB coverage here) tackled two topics, one is of the most interest to MoCA – the proposal to amend the city’s Comprehensive Plan to override neighborhood-plan-related language related to single-family zoning. (We previewed this here.)
From last night’s hourlong Admiral Neighborhood Association meeting:
SURVEY BRIEFING POSTPONED: The meeting was shorter than usual because a staffer from City Councilmember Lisa Herbold‘s office wasn’t able to attend to talk about the Alki Public Health and Safety Survey; its results are in the councilmember’s most recent weekly update.
UPCOMING EVENTS: ANA president Larry Wymer, who’s also on the board of the West Seattle Transportation Coalition, mentioned the mayor/City Council candidates’ forum that WSTC will be co-sponsoring with the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce on October 19th (6:30 pm at American Legion Post 160, 3618 SW Alaska)… He also mentioned that ANA will be helping with the Admiral District Trick or Treat event on Halloween (3-6 pm), and that Hiawatha has a fall carnival coming up too (October 27th, 6-8 pm) … On October 22nd, Admiral Congregational Church will host an “Ask a Muslim” event, 1-3 pm, its pastor Rev. Andrew Conley-Holcom announced.
DEPARTMENT OF NEIGHBORHOODS: Community-engagement coordinator Laura Jenkins introduced herself to ANA and explained the department’s mission, which is focusing more and more on community engagement. Those in her role are “here to help you connect with the city and tell you more about … resources,” she explained. “We can help you find the right person to go to … even for us, it’s hard to figure out who that is” sometimes. She said she’s not assigned to a specific area – she “fills in where needed”; of the other three community-engagement coordinators, Yun Pitre is usually focused on the south end, including West Seattle.
WESTSIDE NEIGHBORS’ NETWORK: Judie Messier continues making the rounds of neighborhood meetings to promote the new organization that is now officially seeking members to support each other as they “age in place.” So many people who are getting older “are living alone … and worried about the possibility of losing (their) home,” Messier said, and WNN is meant to provide life-enhancing support. North East Seattle Together (NEST) and others in Greenwood and Capitol Hill are the three other “virtual villages” in the city so far, among more than 200 nationwide, in addition to WNN, which now has 13 founding members, and is offering two types of memberships. “Full” membership offers the option of creating an “intentional household” for mutual support. Messier fielded a variety of questions, explaining that for example, you don’t have to provide support to receive support. Someone expressed concern about the price of dues; Messier explained it’s far lower than other similar organizations. When another attendee brought up the Senior Center and its role in offering/coordinating resources, Messier noted that WNN sees itself as part of a “tapestry” of services and resources. She offered to answer any and all questions anyone has, no obligation – contact WNN through its website.
SAFETY CONCERNS: An attendee raised questions about traffic safety and other transportation concerns that could arise when Aegis Living opens its new senior-living facility at 47th/Admiral next year, five years after Life Care Center closed at the same site. There were suggestions that these be brought up with SDOT.
SOUTHWEST DISTRICT COUNCIL: ANA’s rep is SWDC co-chair David Whiting, who presented a recap. (We covered last Wednesday’s meeting here.)
The Admiral Neighborhood Association meets second Tuesdays most months, 7 pm at The Sanctuary at Admiral (42nd/Lander).
NEW THIS YEAR: You’ll find a raptor display in the garden area behind The Hall at Fauntleroy, between the building and the open area where you’ll find the pony rides and petting zoo. Also new, an inflatable obstacle course and some extra activities for the littlest festivalgoers.
RETURNING FAVORITES: Birdhouse-building in the Fauntleroy Church parking lot, visiting vehicles from Seattle Police (the Mobile Precinct is expected) and Seattle Fire. Lots of live music around the festival grounds!
FOOD: Vendors will include Tuxedos and Tennis Shoes Catering with brats and squash soup, plus pretzel sticks … Fauntleroy’s new Wildwood Market will be there … Endolyne Joe’s (WSB sponsor) too … and “the tamale guy.”
CAKE WALK AND DECORATING CONTEST: It’s a highlight every year and cakes are needed – from the festival announcement:
There are three categories: Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced. To enter, bring your decorated cake to the Vashon Room at The Hall at Fauntleroy on Sunday 10/15 between 12 noon and 1 pm. Voting takes place from 1:30-3 pm. Prizes will be awarded for each category! The Cake Walk follows and continues until all the cakes are gone. Cakes can be any shape or size. They should have an autumn, Halloween, or West Seattle theme.
The festival is 2-5 pm Sunday on both sides of California SW in the heart of Fauntleroy – around Fauntleroy Church (9140 California SW, east side of the street) and The Hall at Fauntleroy/Fauntleroy Schoolhouse (9131 California SW, west side).
Also at last night’s meeting:
CRIME TRENDS: Southwest Precinct Operations Lt. Ron Smith said the Fauntleroy area is seeing an increase in car prowls and auto theft and as often happens, police suspect it’s related to a repeat offender’s recent release, with some new accomplices, and Southwest officers/detectives are on their trail. Asked how best to thwart them, Lt. Smith repeated the most-important advice – leave absolutely nothing in your vehicle, and keep it locked.
FERRY BRIEFING: Gary Dawson, who’s on the Ferry Advisory Committee for Fauntleroy as well as the Triangle Task Force, updated the FCA board on the ongoing travails related to trying to reduce backups – including the recent meeting on Vashon (WSB coverage here).
That photo shows one of three donation presentations made this week by VIEWS (Visualizing Increased Engagement in West Seattle), whose Pete Spalding – sending photos and news of the donations – describes it as “a non-partisan community organization comprised of local citizens creating programming to educate, engage & mobilize West Seattle citizens to sustain & improve the quality of life & services available across the peninsula.” At center above, accepting a $250 check from VIEWS, are David Bestock and Nafasi Ferrell of the Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association, with, from left, Chas Redmond, Ron Angeles, Pete Spalding, and Larry Winkler from VIEWS. “This donation of $250 will be used to help support youth and cultural programming that this organization presents to our Delridge Community,” Pete explained. “It was also given in recognition of the untiring efforts of Nafasi Ferrell, who has assisted VIEWS at Delridge Day the last two years in arranging our entertainment.” The other two recipients:
The Associated Recreation Council (ARC) based at the Delridge Community Center. This donation of $2,000 will be used to support the preschool and teen programs offered at the Delridge Community Center.
Wendy Westover (below left) accepted the check.
And on behalf of the West Seattle Emergency Communication Hubs, Cindi Barker (above right) accepted a $250 donation to help pay for new communication equipment. The VIEWS announcement adds:
Due to scheduling conflicts, VIEWS mainstays Michael Taylor-Judd and Ann Martin were not available for the presentation ceremonies held at the Delridge Community Center.
VIEWS has a history of making donations like these over its history to organizations that are striving to improve and build a better Delridge community. VIEWS organizes the Gathering of Neighbors and Delridge Day festival annually. In addition VIEWS also has hosted city council candidate forums and other community building efforts. If you are interested in the work that VIEWS does and would like to engage with VIEWS, please contact us at wsgathering.org.
Toplines from last night’s Highland Park Action Committee meeting:
ROUNDABOUT UPDATE: $500,000 of funding is in place so far for the proposed roundabout at the top of the Highland Park Way hill – the $200,000 announced at the Find It Fix It Walk in May, and another $300,000 from the Move Seattle levy. They’re now awaiting word on a state grant of more than $1 million, with hundreds of community members expressing support as well as city, county, and state elected officials plus U.S. Rep Pramila Jayapal. HPAC co-chair Michele Witzki says they hope to find out in November whether that grant will happen – it would virtually finish the funding for the roundabout. “This is exciting!” resounded around the room. Co-chair Gunner Scott noted that it’s far from the area’s only transportation need, though (as also discussed during the FIFI Walk). Witzki said that they’re awaiting a city report that will show the status of some of those other projects.
CRIME UPDATES: Southwest Precinct Operations Lt. Ron Smith told HPAC that car prowls in Highland Park are down 49 percent from this time last year but “crimes against persons” – anything from domestic-violence assault to lewdness incidents like indecent exposure – are up five percent.
This is a letter for you, from Sarah, a neighbor whose husband was among those first on the scene when a murderer shot and killed 25-year-old Edixon Velasquez this past week.
To My Dear West Seattle Community,
My husband ushered our children into the back bedroom to finish their movie, unaware in their innocence, as the gunshots cut the air of our neighborhood. A quiet street I’ve only ever known to be full of dog walkers, joggers, and the occasional driver going a tad too quickly down a residential street, now filled with flashing blue lights, yellow tape, and chalk.
Our front window, which still looks out at a row of adorable houses that remind me of a rainbow, now also looks out on the memorial of a young man, our new friend, killed just steps from our front door.
It has been a hard week for us. And here, in West Seattle, as I go to my kids’ school, to work, and talk to our neighbors and friends, it sounds like it’s been a harder season for us as a community in general. We’re growing a lot, so many new people, so much less space, so many more cars.
And it seems as if it the growth is coming with more stories like the one that unfolded outside my dining room window as a life flowed out into a storm drain in the street while the kids obliviously sang along to “let it go.”
There are more stories of people hurt, hurting one another, kids discouraged from walking to school without a grownup – our ideals of safety threatened and somehow suddenly fleeting.
People seem more afraid and it’s coming out as anger; I get honked at more, glared at more, and if I’m honest, I’m honking more, snarkier with the person taking too long (in my opinion) in the checkout line, defenses automatically up when I walk out the door. It just seems we’re all more on edge. The tensions of our world, our city, and our community, stuffed down into raincoats with zippers increasingly too short to hold all the pain and wondering in, and so there are quick glances away if our eyes meet a stranger’s. Friend or foe? We don’t know, and we’re too heart-tired to find out.
But in the wake of the events this week, I’ve thought of our West Seattle community a lot, and I had a few very simple things I wanted to share with you. So, here it goes…
I think a lot about fear. If I’m honest, I can feel a lot of it on a daily basis. I’ve learned over the years how to use it as a catalyst for good, how to be grateful for my constant vigilance, seeing the many ways it has benefited my family, my community, the things I am involved with. Fear is like a yellow light – it’s not a directive to stop or to go, it’s just a sign it’s time to make a decision. And the more information I have about my trajectory, goals, and physical realities, the more likely I am to make a wise choice in response to that yellow light.
My favorite yellow lights are the ones accompanied by an accurate pedestrian crosswalk – that number countdown to the yellow light is what all lights should be, and what I wish life provided: adequate time to know what to expect and how to prepare.
But in real life, which has come way too close to home for us this week, it doesn’t work that way. While the yellow light of fear happens frequently enough, it is very rarely preceded by a gentle warning: “fear is coming soon – just wanted you to have a bit of time to prepare and plan your response.”
Here is what I have learned about fear: if we do not choose how we will respond when it inevitably comes, then in the face of fear what flows out of us is our worst, not our best.
Fear tells us there is a threat, and in the absence of an intentional response to fear, our instinct tells us to turn away, to pull in, to put up higher fences, install bigger security systems, and fortify our defenses. And we do. I do.
But, here is another thing I have learned, having grown up in a city where the literal fences were high, topped with barbed wire, and monitored by dogs and armed guards. The put-up, pull-in, back-off mentality does not bring a greater sense of safety, nor does it diminish an actual threat of risk. Perhaps it does for a moment, but not for long. It is fleeting, and our belief in our own ability to singularly control our individual outcome in the world is like a drug: we need bigger doses of heavier substances to retain our feelings of control.
We are a culture that prides itself on self-reliance and individualism, and a city where politeness is paramount but our internal walls are high and we more easily turn away than towards. Uncomfortably, especially for us, this truth remains: the anecdote to fear is not an exertion of power or a reinforcing of our own walls. The anecdote to fear is togetherness.
This week has been incredibly hard for me and for our neighborhood, but it has been so softened by the fact we already knew our neighbors – even the ones who were the victims in this senseless tragedy. There was instant comfort in knowing that even in the midst of real fear we were surrounded by people who knew us, knew our kids, had us watch their pets, and came over for drinks or bbqs.
We didn’t know our neighbors on accident; there was no roster passed out when we moved onto the block several years back. There was a lovely bottle of wine dropped off, and a couple phone numbers swapped at a Neighbors Night Out. The rest has been slow building. It has meant going on evening walks as a family and stopping to say hi to anyone we see out and about, including getting into or out of their cars (and yes, it’s always awkward, and yes, it’s always met with eventual warmth). We introduce ourselves, say where we live, offer to swap numbers and remind people “we’re close by if you ever need anything.”
It has meant watching when the houses go up for sale, knocking on the doors of folks as they unpack their boxes, passing on the next bottle of wine, swapping numbers, and again saying, “we just live right there…so glad you moved in.” It has meant large group text chains telling neighbors about impromptu BBQs on the first warm Saturday of spring, asking for help managing our chickens while we travel, walking the mail incorrectly delivered to us over to its rightful owner a block away and choosing to knock on the door rather than stuff it in the mailbox.
Building community, which I recently heard described as common unity, does not happen through programs, or private groups. Neighborhood groups on social media help with the transfer of goods and information, but they are no substitute for a handshake, an eye-to-eye smile, or a knock on the door.
I’ve lived in a lot of places, I’ve been close to a lot of pain, and experienced it myself. I’ve had my sense of safety violated more than once, and know it will happen again. As much as some knee jerk part of me wants to do everything I can to gear up for battle, I’ve lived long enough to know the real war isn’t in the moment of fear, it’s in how I’ve prepared my heart, my family, and my community before it comes.
I’m a fighter, through and through; there is no flight in me. But I won’t fight fire with fire or violence with violence for one simple reason: love is much stronger than hate or fear. You see, hate and fear eat a soul alive while love self-repairs and grows stronger each time it’s shown. A community turned toward one another, intentionally woven together, is more safe than a community pulled away from one another in fear and hate.
It’s not up to me to decide what your block is like – that’s up to you. But here on this block, even after the week we’ve had, we’re going to keep turning in. We’re going to keep watching each other’s pets and kids, inviting each other over for warm pies, asking how the day was & waiting to hear the real answer. And the folks at the corner of the block are going to wrap this around the block and across the intersection, and I hope it spreads like the blackberries at EC Hughes until West Seattle is known as the part of town where folks know their neighbors, aren’t afraid of the ways our city is changing, and see the yellow light of fear as an anticipated reality that we get to respond to with choice.
I hope you’ve already planted your own blackberry patch of love and togetherness in your neighborhood. But if you haven’t, that’s ok, just consider this letter a starter clipping from mine. It’s all you need to get started, just drop it in the soil of a knock on a neighbor’s door, water it with a the swap of a phone number, and fertilize with a text when you’re running to Target and just wondered if anyone in the neighborhood needed anything while you were out.
Hate raised its head this week, and it will again, even today. But I’ll raise my head even higher, choose to look in your eyes a little bit longer, fighting for love a little bit fiercer. It’s the very best thing I know how to do, and I really, really hope you’ll join me.
And you know, we live just down the block so if you ever need anything, just holler; and if you’re new, we’re so glad you’re here.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
When SDOT‘s last major review of West Seattle Junction parking resulted in this July 2009 announcement that it wouldn’t recommend metered parking, you could almost hear a huge collective sigh of relief.
That review had begun more than a year earlier, and months after the no-paid-street-parking news, ended with what we described at the time as “a relatively minor set of changes” – some tweaks to time limits.
But The Junction has had metered parking before – and the city’s new review has rekindled concerns that it will return. A lot has changed since the 2008-2009 review – primarily a dramatic amount of redevelopment adding hundreds of new apartments to the heart of The Junction – and some projects including fewer parking spaces than units, or even none, with the city changing its rules in 2012 to say that nearby “frequent transit” means parking might not be needed. (As reported here last week, those rules might be loosened even more.)
So with all that setting the stage, two SDOT reps were at last night’s Junction Neighborhood Organization meeting at the Senior Center/Sisson Building.. They weren’t the only speakers of interest – the next Junction park and a HALA update were part of the agenda too – but we start with the parking discussion:
For the first time in almost a decade, SDOT is reviewing parking in The Junction. Department reps will talk about it at the Junction Neighborhood Organization‘s next meeting, tomorrow (Tuesday, September 19th). Here’s the “fact sheet” for the review, just added to the city website today:
(Click image for full-size PDF on city website)
Q&A is promised, too. (Whether or not you’ll be there, the city’s just opened this online survey as part of the review.)
Also on the JuNO agenda: Next steps for the future Junction park in the 4700 block of 40th SW, following the recent “open house” – Seattle Parks reps including project manager Karimah Edwards will be there. And with the final HALA Mandatory Housing Affordability Environmental Impact Statement and its proposed upzoning maps due soon, the JuNO Land Use Committee will present an update, too. All welcome at tomorrow night’s meeting, 6:30 pm, at the Senior Center/Sisson Building (4217 SW Oregon).
A few notes from last night’s Fauntleroy Community Association board meeting at the Fauntleroy Schoolhouse:
FERRY UPDATES: Gary Dawson, longtime Fauntleroy rep on the Ferry Advisory Committee and also a member of WSF’s Triangle Route Task Force, briefed the FCA board. He wasn’t at the most recent Task Force meeting, but caught up recently with other members. And he looked ahead to the next meeting of the Task Force, coming up tomorrow (Thursday), 4:30-7 pm (Fauntleroy Church, 9140 California SW), as well as the public meetings planned on Vashon (September 20th) and in Southworth, with people furious that boats continue to leave without being filled. He also noted that WSF has been short on boats due to unplanned maintenance issues. and had an update on turnover on the task force – especially among its Vashon membership; without Vashon representation, he thinks WSF should consider discontinuing the Task Force.
FAUNTLEROY FALL FESTIVAL: The popular annual event is coming up on Sunday, October 15th (details forthcoming). While the festival’s organizer couldn’t be at the meeting, she sent some updates: A falcon will be among the new attractions. New Fauntleroy business Wildwood Market will be a food vendor, with mac and cheese. The tamale vendor will be back. So will the cake walk, pumpkin painting, and birdhouse-making. They’re still looking for festival sponsors – and volunteers.
FAUNTLEROY TRIANGLE: 14 more planters are on the way to various areas in and around the newly reconfigured triangle in Fauntleroy’s Endolyne area. The planters and their dirt are to be provided by the city, while FCA is accountable for the cost of the plants. The owner of the building in the heart of the triangle has been donating the water to keep the plants hydrated in that area. FCA has a few other issues with how the area is working, but SDOT says other items are on hold because they are concentrating right now on “corridor” projects.
SURVEY: Every other year, the FCA surveys the community, both to find out what’s on residents and businesspeople’s minds, and to let those people know about FCA. It’s soon going to be survey time again, so they’re opening discussions about what they might ask and how they might get the survey out to the largest number of people. In the past, they’ve used postal mail as well as online.
MEMBERSHIP: A board business item included running through who had paid dues – FCA is one of the few local groups that collects them – and who had not. About a third of the membership on the rolls is behind. The bills should have arrived in spring with the newsletter. Also, a concern was raised about whether they’re reaching new prospective members who move into the area.
NEW BOARD MEMBER: Kris Ilgenfritz was introduced as the newest member of the FCA board.
NO CRIME BRIEFING: Though SPD had been on the agenda, they were not in attendance, so there was no update on local crime trends this month.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
The fall neighborhood-meeting season kicked off with the September session of what’s now the Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Coalition.
Kim Barnes and Jenny Rose Ryan are interim co-chairs of WWRHAH; Barnes led Tuesday night’s meeting at Southwest Library.
At the heart of this meeting was a “focus group”-style conversation about crime/safety issues in the area, to be sure its micro-community policing plan is up to date:
No daily highlight list today because of the stabbing coverage, but crime and safety are at the center of one major event tonight we want to be sure you know about: The Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Coalition meets at 6:15 pm at Southwest Library (9010 35th SW). Major agenda item: If you live/work in any of the WWRHAH neighborhoods, your feedback is needed in a fact-finding session about the local micropolicing plan – Southwest Precinct research assistant Puao Savusa will be there to hear from you (see the questions here). Also expected, SW Precinct Operations Lt. Ron Smith with an update on area crime stats. WWRHAH also is scheduled to hear from City Council candidate (at-large position 9) Pat Murakami. And open-discussion items include the future RapidRide H Line as well as the recently announced cut to the Chief Sealth Walkway Improvements Project (our original report is here, and followup here), plus other area pedestrian safety/accessibility issues. See the full WWRHAH agenda here. (And see other listings for today/tonight on the frequently updated WSB West Seattle Event Calendar.)
Put the “labor” in your Labor Day weekend – before you get down to relaxing – and join the Admiral Neighborhood Association‘s quarterly Adopt-a-Street cleanup this Saturday. 9 am-noon (and if you can’t devote all that time, give what you can), with coffee and treats before, sack lunch after, meeting at Metropolitan Market (41st/42nd/Admiral; WSB sponsor). Just show up – tools and bags provided – all ages welcome.
(Meeting video, unedited. You’ll want to fast-forward through 1-on-1 conversation break, between 17 and 32 minutes)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
After thirteen months of gestation, the city’s Community Involvement Commission was born Thursday night.
It arrived on the second floor of City Hall, five floors below the conference room where Mayor Murray had announced the plan to create it by executive order.
“It’s been a long process,” acknowledged Department of Neighborhoods director Kathy Nyland, the highest-ranking city staffer in attendance at the commission’s first meeting. She said getting the right staffing in place was a major reason. Danielle Friedman is now on board as the program coordinator, and led most of the meeting – which you can see in its entirety in the unedited video above.
But first, Nyland offered the backstory.
The plan to create the Community Involvement Commission came in a surprise mayoral announcement we covered in July of 2016. The city’s 13 “neighborhood district councils” – groups of volunteers representing smaller community groups and organizations – knew the system was being reviewed, and were looking forward to a report on that review, when the mayor abruptly announced the system would be “replaced” by the new CIC. On elaboration – as Nyland again stressed last night – the councils were not disbanded or dissolved, but the nominal city funding they received (about $500 each per year, generally spent on meeting-room rental) was pulled, and the level of city-staff support was cut.
Just announced by the city – a round of Neighborhood Matching Fund grants that includes three projects in West Seattle:
$100,000 to Gatewood Elementary School PTA to rebuild the existing one-half acre grassy field area within the playground. Improvements are based upon the Master Plan and full construction documents created with community input. The physical improvements will occur this fall. (Community match: $78,185)
$60,000 to Delridge Neighborhood Development Association to organize the Delridge Neighborhoods Let’s Talk Race Series. The 12 events will use film, dialogue, restorative justice, and storytelling to transform the narrative around institutional and historic racism and build stronger relationships between community organizations, individuals, and groups. (Community match: $47,860)
$27,500 to Longfellow Creek Neighborhood Path for 24th Ave SW to create a more intentional Longfellow Creek Trail connection along 24th Ave SW between SW Willow St. and SW Graham St. This project will coordinate with a design project by the Mid Sound Fisheries Enhancement Group to reduce flooding, improve drainage, and restore habitat along Longfellow Creek. (Community match: $27,047)
The grants are from what is now called the Community Partnership Fund, the larger of two NMF grants the city offers. Meantime, the fund’s citywide grants also included one for South Park:
$50,000 to Sea-Mar Community Health Center to produce Fiestas Patrias, a free 2-day cultural festival which provides opportunities for the community to come together to celebrate Latin American arts, culture and heritage through music, dance, food and more. (Community match: $29,500)
Fiestas Patrias includes a parade, festival, and health fair in South Park on Saturday, September 16th, and Sea-Mar is inviting parade participation – here’s their post in the WSB Forums.
Just announced by the Department of Neighborhoods – the results of the Your Voice, Your Choice voting on how to spend city grant money for park and street projects. In District 1 – West Seattle and South Park – these are the four winners:
Delridge: Crossing Improvements at Delridge Way SW & SW Oregon St (Cost: $90,000, Total Votes: 477)
Westwood/Highland Park: Bus Stop Improvements at Delridge Way SW & SW Barton St (Cost: $90,000, Total Votes: 470)
High Point: Walkway Improvements on SW Orchard St between Delridge Way SW & Sylvan Way SW (Cost: $80,081, Total Votes: 425)
South Park: Crossing Improvements on S Cloverdale St (Cost: $85,700, Total Votes: 396)
If you paid attention to the process, which started with suggestions and continued through voting on finalists, you might notice that adds up to more than the $285,000 maximum per district that the city had said was available. The online announcement explains:
To provide some context to the results above, with $2 million to spend on park and street improvements, we allotted a maximum of $285,000 per City Council District. After the top projects in each district were selected by voters, there was $233,019 remaining in the budget. These dollars were used to fund one additional project in the three districts with the highest voter participation (Districts 1, 2, and 5).
You can read more about the winning projects (and the other finalists) in the District 1 Voter’s Guide that was circulated while voting was under way in June.
It’s Night Out 2017 around West Seattle – and around the U.S.!
6:16 PM: Our first stop is in Seaview, where Ellis and friends “would like to tell the people of west Seattle that kids are holding a block party.” Ellis explained, “Me and my friends have been selling enough lemonade this summer raise $114,” and that’s how they funded it. Above, Ellis is at center, with Jaslynn and Zoe. Next stop, Jon‘s neighborhood southwest of The Junction (though Jon himself hadn’t arrived yet):
This one’s not a street-closing party, “just neighbors barbecuing and hanging out” – we are doing our best to get to the other parties that e-mailed to let us know it would be OK if we stopped by for a photo, and we also welcome a pic of your group – firstname.lastname@example.org is the best address right now since we’re on the move, or via phone, to our 206-293-6302 round-the-clock hotline. Meantime, we’re seeing LOTS of blocks closed for parties – so, lots of neighborhood-strengthening going on tonight – 275 registered in West Seattle and South Park, SW Precinct Crime Prevention Coordinator Jennifer Burbridge told us!
6:45 PM: Our photos above and below are from our stop at Sara‘s block party, west of The Junction. So organized – they have a planning committee for the Night Out party, and she’s on it!
They have a bouncy house for the neighborhood’s youngest residents, too.
6:56 PM: We weren’t planning another stop so close by, but we saw SW Precinct Lt. Steve Strand arriving at 47th/Edmunds – police and fire personnel are visiting some of tonight’s parties as usual – and we had something to ask about:
While we were there, of course, we took a group photo.
(P.S. The unrelated incident we asked about was one that led to several texts earlier, a person taken into custody at 35th/Findlay – we got there just as police were leaving. Lt. Strand says the person was in crisis and was out in the street dodging cars. The person was taken to the hospital for evaluation.)
Meanwhile, Karen just sent this photo from her block party in High Point:
7:11 PM: Now we’re on Alki Point near Bar-S Playfields, where Sherie let us know that her neighborhood was having its first-ever Night Out block party:
7:27 PM: We were heading to North Delridge when a house fire broke out in Gatewood, so we have to interrupt our Night Out tour for now, but will continue adding your photos! Like this one from SW Orchard, on the other side of Gatewood:
The photo was taken while Night Out attendees listened to a talk on Cooper’s Hawks, by Ed Deal. Meantime – imagine Seattle’s most-famous marching band rocking your block party:
— James (@SeattleDad) August 2, 2017
(Update) Here’s video Nick shared from ACB at 45th/Dawson:
Apparently the All-City Band split into two groups tonight in lieu of rehearsing, and visited several block parties!
8:02 PM: The house-fire coverage is wrapped up and we’re back on the road, trying to get to a few more block parties. First, we’re in Highland Park, where Christie invited us to stop by:
Also from Highland Park – Marcia tweeted a photo:
— Marcia Ventura (@marciaventura) August 2, 2017
Looks like it’s going to be an incredible sunset, too, through the wildfire smoke…
8:39 PM: Our last stop, 37th and Graham – thanks to Aaron for the invite:
Neighbors brought a couch out into the street for their Night Out party – that’s what the kids lined up in front are sitting on. And just after we left Aaron’s neighborhood, Michael sent this photo from just about a block away – 38th and Raymond:
And when we pulled up to HQ in Upper Fauntleroy, our neighborhood block party was still going, so we grabbed a photo:
8:53 PM: The official time period for parties is ending (though we’ve noted in 10 years of as-it-happened coverage, you don’t find many going past 8:30). Here are more of the photos you shared – thanks! First, from Max in East Admiral:
Our neighbors in South Park have a mini-golf-themed party every year, “South Park Putts Out,” and shared this photo:
From 18th and Brandon, where SFD made a visit:
At Walnut/Stevens in Admiral:
Next photo was taken at 48th/Dawson by Don Brubeck, who explains: “West Seattle Bike Connections had a bike tour of street parties instead of a meeting indoors. Get to see kids playing in safe streets and neighbors getting together.”
One of more than a few places with live music – 4000 block of 40th SW:
From Cinda on 42nd SW in Gatewood, a few of her neighbors around a table, talking – the best part of Night Out, catching up with the people who live nearby:
And from Tamsen’s block party in Upper Morgan:
It’s 11:50 pm and that’s our last addition, for now. Don’t let neighborhood solidarity be a once-a-year thing … in addition to Block Watches (find out more about those here), get together for the sake of preparedness (everybody know where, and what, your nearest Emergency Communication Hub is?), community cleanups … the possibilities are endless.