Neighborhoods – West Seattle Blog… West Seattle news, 24/7 Sun, 18 Feb 2018 17:40:38 +0000 en-US hourly 1 TUESDAY: New day, time, place for South Delridge Community Group Tue, 13 Feb 2018 03:10:44 +0000 Live/work in South Delridge? You’re invited to check out the South Delridge Community Group at 7 pm tomorrow night at 2 Fingers Social (9211 Delridge Way SW) – a new place, day, and time as the group resumes meetings. All ages are welcome at 2 Fingers until 8 pm, so you can bring your kid(s) to the meeting if you want/need to. Read more about the SDCG by going here.

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Crime drop, bog progress, park future @ Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Coalition Thu, 08 Feb 2018 23:24:54 +0000 By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Some promising news emerged on multiple fronts at this month’s Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Coalition meeting.

CRIME DROP: WWRHAH was briefed by Southwest Precinct Operations Lt. Ron Smith. The area covered by this community group, he said, has had 56 incidents in tracked categories compared to 119 a year earlier. That includes one fewer robbery, one more aggravated assault, 7 crimes against persons compared to 5 – but property crime is down dramatically – one more burglary, one more commercial burglary (3 compared to 2), but larceny (much of it shoplifting) is down dramatically, about a fourth of what it was. Also: 15 car prowls compared to 17, 8 car thefts compared to 13. 49 property crimes in all – less than half it was at this point last year. Police continue working harder to get repeat offenders kept in jail – including for example making sure the “(law enforcement) objects to release” box is checked on reports.

The subject of the arrest of officer-assault suspect Jorge Cruz-Benitez two nights earlier came up; he was allegedly first spotted doing graffiti vandalism in the area (Delridge/Henderson). Lt. Smith echoed what we noted in a previous discussion, that not all tagging is gang-related. (This meeting was on Tuesday night; one night later, on Wednesday night, Cruz-Benitez was released from jail, according to the KC Jail Register.)

(Southwestern side of Roxhill Bog – WSB photo from 2014)

ROXHILL PARK AND BOG: WWRHAH has been pushing forever to get the bog water-flow fixed –
here’s an extensive report we published in 2014 – and is making progress. Your involvement can accelerate things. First:

Rory Denovan recapped a wetland tour on a rainy day a week and a half ago that included city reps from Seattle Public Utilities, Seattle Parks, plus Duwamish Alive!, Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association, and Councilmember Lisa Herbold. He said they took a look at areas of settlement and other problems such as camping and drug use. “We didn’t really get the chance to start talking about solutions,” he said, but a project plan has been drafted and the next steps are to apply for grants, so some proposals will be written for that. The city is pursuing green stormwater infrastructure on 29th SW just west of the park, but he feels that there needs to be a bigger-picture plan for the area first – more of the diverted stormwater could be channeled into the bog, for example.

More advocacy is needed to solve the bog’s woes – and WWRHAH needs another point person to advocate and communicate as a liaison between the various agencies. Get involved and help make sure the progress continues! Contact WWRHAH if that resonates with you.

9201 DELRIDGE DESIGN REVIEW: As we’ve reported here, a storage building is proposed to replace the automotive business at 9201 Delridge Way SW, and its first Design Review Board meeting is coming up next week (see the design packet here). “Something’s wrong in orienting the building the way they have, where they don’t have eyes on Delridge,” WWRHAH co-chair Kim Barnes said. She plans to be at the hearing to share her concerns. Eyes on the street are vital in “a developing neighborhood,” she said. In ensuing discussion, it was noted that this area of Delridge is supposed to become pedestrian-friendly, with walkable businesses, as it densifies, and it’s unfortunate that this project – while allowed by current zoning – isn’t going to enhance that. The meeting is at 6:30 pm February 15th; more info here.

HALA APPEAL: WWRHAH is among the community groups involved in the appeal of the Final Environmental Impact Statement for HALA Mandatory Housing Affordability, so Barnes updated the group on what was going on. “We have a really good case,” she believes, while saying she can’t elaborate. She also noted that, as has been discussed at other community meetings recently, the appeal hearing is expected to be delayed until June, because preparations will take longer. She also noted that the appeal coalition is continuing to raise money. WWRHAH and other participating groups want the city to address neighborhood-specific concerns in the Environmental Impact Statement, which has been alleged to have been published as a “one size fits all urban villages” type of plan instead.

ROXHILL PARK COMMONS: WWRHAH continues to be involved with the concept of getting Roxhill Park involved with the Parks Commons Program, “to help increase park usage and enrich the life of the neighborhood.” A kickoff meeting is planned 6:30 pm February 27th at Southwest Library – all welcome.

SOUTH DELRIDGE COMMUNITY GROUP: Home Depot to Roxbury, three blocks on either side, is the area for South Delridge Community Group, which is relaunching meetings – they will meet on second Tuesdays at 7 pm at Two Fingers Social (9211 Delridge Way SW), starting February 13th.

Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Coalition meets first Tuesdays most months, 6 pm, at Southwest Library. Watch for updates.

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FIRE STATION OPEN HOUSES: 4 open in West Seattle for Neighbor Day visits Mon, 05 Feb 2018 22:01:35 +0000 (WSB photo from Station 32’s open house last November)

This Saturday is Neighbor Day around the city – and one of the most popular aspects is the chance to visit local fire stations during Neighbor Day open houses. They’re not all open for the occasion but here are the ones on the list this time – 11 am-1 pm Saturday (February 10th) – in West Seattle:

-Fire Station 11 in Highland Park (16th/Holden)
-Fire Station 29 in North Admiral (2139 Ferry SW)
-Fire Station 32 in The Triangle (38th/Alaska)
-Fire Station 37 in Sunrise Heights (35th/Holden)

More about Neighbor Day as the week goes on!

P.S. Though the list on the city website does not include Station 32 right now, we doublechecked with SFD and they say the new station WILL have an open house too.

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Junction Neighborhood Organization focuses on HALA and Sound Transit, after pre-meeting Fauntleroy Boulevard news Fri, 02 Feb 2018 06:03:08 +0000 By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

When a meeting room at the Sisson Building/Senior Center filled to overflowing last night for the Junction Neighborhood Organization‘s quarterly meeting, the biggest news was already a couple hours old – SDOT‘s announcement that the Fauntleroy Boulevard project is on hold.

For those who hadn’t already heard, JuNO director Amanda Sawyer recapped it at the start of the meeting. (SDOT did not send reps to talk about it, as had been the original plan before the suspension was announced.) She and West Seattle Junction Association executive director Lora Swift both stressed that since SDOT is saying it will reallocate the project funds – last described as $15 million to $18 million – to other WS projects, feedback to Councilmember Lisa Herbold is important. (Send yours to

So that left the meeting devoted to two other big topics affecting The Junction – the HALA Mandatory Housing Affordability upzoning proposal that has just gone into City Council review, and Sound Transit planning for West Seattle light rail, which is just starting its formal community-outreach process.

Christy Tobin Presser from the JuNO Land Use Committee talked about efforts to get the neighborhood a “collaborative process” with the city. Concerns include displacement, lack of affordable housing to be created in The Junction, lack of infrastructure to support increasing density. But the “collaborative process … hasn’t happened to date,” she said, noting that the Final Environmental Impact Statement made public in November – with maps for the city’s “preferred” upzoning plan – does not address specific neighborhoods’ conditions and concerns. That’s what led to the appeal of the Final EIS, filed by a coalition of neighborhood groups citywide including JuNO, which filed its own appeal too. As had been mentioned at the recent meeting of the Morgan Community Association – which also is involved in the appeals – the discovery process preceding the appeal hearings is expected to push back the date for those hearings, originally set for April, by two months if not more.

Tobin Presser also said that the citywide coalition is raising money to cover the legal assistance helping with the appeals. And she said it was important to realize that this isn’t a process seeking to throw out HALA MHA – a “win” would be requiring the Environmental Impact Statement to include the requested neighborhood collaboration. Along with contributing money, people interested in helping could also volunteer to assist with research, or with expertise – if you have it – on some of the issues. Being involved with the coalition “has become a second full-time job,” Tobin Presser said. “We all want affordable housing in our communities, we all like increased diversity in our communities,” but they don’t believe that what’s being proposed now “is the best way to get there.”

Sawyer said “the legal action is just a single tool in the toolbox,” so they also are continuing to work with Councilmember Herbold, “trying to find some nuance … in how we want to take on growth and density.” She also suggested going to the HALA MHA open houses in other districts, to see what’s being discussed and how – and by who – all of which will be held before the one set for our area (May 9th at Louisa Boren STEM K-8). Speaking at a public hearing “is worthwhile” too, said Sawyer, adding that she’s now done that three times this year – before which, she had never done it in her life. She also noted that, as was pointed out again in this week’s City Council committee overview, several other parts of the city have already had MHA plans passed – including Uptown (lower Queen Anne), Chinatown-International District, Downtown, South Lake Union, and the U-District – each with its own process, including its own EIS, unlike what’s happening now, with more than 20 neighborhoods around the city lumped into one. Sawyer showed highlights from one of those other plans that might offer precedent for what could be done in The Junction – the U-District, for example, addressed upcoming light rail, plans for specific open spaces, kept The Ave out of zoning changes altogether, and more. “We should be thinking of how to carve out resolutions that hold the city accountable,” Sawyer said. Perhaps what was done for The Ave could be replicated or adapted for addressing the West Seattle Junction and its small businesses, for example. She showed highlights of the Uptown plan, too, and said The Junction should work to get as much attention to details of the forthcoming light-rail station(s) as Uptown did. Uptown also had its Neighborhood Design Guidelines updated for the first time in 10+ years – that could be a goal for The Junction, too, she said.

“Didn’t the original neighborhood plan (from the 1990s) anticipate all this?” asked an attendee.

Short answer, yes. “It was supposed to be a living plan,” noted Sawyer (while also noting she is a recent arrival and wasn’t part of that process). That also led to a mention of the competing Comprehensive Plan Amendments (basically, the city wants to overwrite its long-range plan to eliminate points in which it includes neighborhood-plan points such as protection of single-family neighborhoods, while JuNO and at least one other community council is trying to get its own amendment to underscore the pre-existing protections).

That other group – the mentioned-earlier Morgan Community Association – also is looking at other ideas for how to ensure that affordable entry-level family housing remains part of the area’s future, such as Community Land Trusts.

Second to speak, also from JuNO’s Land Use Committee, was Rich Koehler. His focus was on the Sound Transit plan for the area. He said hearing about the light-rail plan for this area – where he lives and is raising two kids – was exciting. He then jumped into involvement when he found out about HALA MHA. He in turn introduced some other volunteers: Kevin Freitas, who plans to be involved as a liaison with Sound Transit – he applied to join its Stakeholder Advisory Group (for which the new members have not yet been announced) – and the community member who nicknamed himself “Avalon Tom,” who made the unofficial elevated-rail renderings shown here last month, was introduced too.

Koehler offered a few points of background – even why The Junction is The Junction (a junction of two streetcar lines in 1920s) – and how “urban villages” got to be “urban villages.”

He also showed a map breaking out the distinct areas of The Junction, from commercial to apartments/condos, and pulled out other pages from the neighborhood plan showing what had been envisioned as pedestrian connectors, for example, such as California and Fauntleroy. And he pointed out that the now-on-hold Fauntleroy Boulevard project was a “descendant” of the designation of that street as a major pedestrian connector.

Then he moved to the unofficial renderings of Sound Transit’s draft plan for routing elevated transit through the area, with “Avalon Tom” contributing some elaboration from the back of the room. Koehler talked about the source of the information that was used to create them, his filing of a public-disclosure request to see how the city and ST had been coordinating or not – that’s how the “representative alignment” came to light. He showed that draft route, with the three stations envisioned – Delridge, Avalon, Junction – the first and third envisioned as connecting to other transportation. In response to questions, Koehler reiterated that this is the draft routing/alignment – the actual planning and outreach starts now and that’s why (as we’ve reported) involvement is vital.

He showed more of the renderings including the potential impacts on the California/Alaska intersection, and how the “representative alignment” shows tracks dead-ending over 44th/Alaska.

The discussion included an attendee question about the legislation that would reduce the amount of funding available to Sound Transit via car-tab taxe, and the conclusion is that no one yet knows how that might affect the West Seattle to Ballard light-rail project. Speaking of funding, the idea of tunneling through West Seattle instead of having the elevated rail came up again; the price tag was cited as $500 million more than what’s estimated now. WSJA’s Swift noted that the north section of the line already includes 7.1 miles of tunneling and that with “a collective voice,” some tunneling likely could be brought here so that all this elevated track “doesn’t destroy our neighborhood.” Also noted, the concept of saving money by dropping the Avalon station – closer to the Junction station than any two other stations in the system, Koehler said – to get tunneling money.

An attendee who said she’s been involved in South King County light-rail planning urged those interested to go take a look at the Angle Lake station.

After some more discussion, Koehler summarized, “This is all one big advertisement for you to get involved.”

Your next opportunity will be the official Sound Transit West Seattle open house – 6:30-8:30 p.m. Tuesday, February 13th, at the Masonic Hall in The Junction. (4736 40th SW).

Also noted at last night’s meeting:

SDOT PARKING STUDY: Will an RPZ be ahead for part of The Junction? The information is expected by the end of February, according to director Sawyer, who said that she’ll distribute it by e-mail when it’s available, and that SDOT’s team will come to JuNO’s next quarterly meeting in April for a followup discussion.

Get on the Junction Neighborhood Organization e-mail list for updates – scroll down to sign up.

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Highland Park Action Committee: Needle cleanup, natural drainage, neighborhood help… Sun, 28 Jan 2018 06:30:16 +0000

From the Highland Park Action Committee‘s January meeting:

‘I FOUND A NEEDLE, NOW WHAT?’ The Sharps Collection Pilot Program from Seattle Public Utilities gave a presentation. It was basically Needle 101 – where do discarded needles come from? Not just IV drug users – could be people with medical conditions that require injections, even pets that need shots, or allergy sufferers. In Seattle, it’s illegal to just throw needles in the trash, “for the safety of sanitation workers,” said the SPU presenters.

If you find a needle on public property:

-Don’t touch it
-Report via Find It Fix It
-Illegal dumping hotline: 206-684-7587

If you report it that way, “The city will come and clean up the needle for you!” the slide deck promised. Within 24 hours, the SPU reps added. But not if it’s on private property – in that case, you have to pick it up, but then you can bring it to a public disposal site. So – how to clean up on private property? That was the next section of the presentation. Be sure you have:

-Puncture-proof container

Never touch the needle with your hands – not even to re-cap it. (It’s not just a matter of getting poked – it’s any contact with a virus that might still be “alive,” for hours or even days.)

Place the puncture-proof container on a flat surface close to the needle; open it to prepare it. Use your tongs to pick it up – by the plunger, not by the needle. Hold it far away from your body and place the sharp end into the container first. Then put the cap back on your puncture-proof container and tape the top shut. Dispose of your gloves – wash your hands – deliver the container to a sharps bin near you. There’s a map on this page or scroll through it below:

As you can see, in our area, Roxhill Park has a large box, and Westcrest Park has a restroom with a smaller box, or you can take the container to the South Transfer Station.

The program is likely to expand a bit this year, the SPU team said, depending on usage and on what they hear in “outreach” events like this. They might “do a little rearranging, a little adding, a little subtracting,” and are open to location suggestions. HPAC co-chair Gunner Scott suggested Riverview Playfield. Other suggestions included the vicinity of 16th/Roxbury.

The SPU reps noted that they have only received three needle reports in this area recently. It was suggested, that might be because people aren’t that aware of the project. You can find out more about it here.

LONGFELLOW NATURAL-DRAINAGE SYSTEMS: A different presenter from Seattle Public Utilities brought an update on this project – they’ve identified potential blocks for installing “natural drainage” (raingardens, etc.) and most are NOT in Highland Park. See the map here. Along with feasibility, residents’ interest is part of how they’re deciding on siting; construction is set for 2019-2020.

HPIC UPDATE: Events ahead at Highland Park Improvement Club, where HPAC meets, include Punk Rock Aerobics, the new class that just started on Thursday nights. … The February first-Friday Corner Bar is coming up February 2nd … then there’s second-Friday Art Lounge on February 9th, and third-Friday Family Movie Night on February 16th … April 29th will be a work party to spruce up HPIC itself, May 19th is the 10th annual Uncorked wine-celebration fundraiser … Highland Park Elementary‘s fundraising auction is coming up February 3rd and a DeLorean car will be at HPIC for photos!

HPAC EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE UPDATE: They’re taking nominations for leadership positions – co-chairs Scott and Michele Witzki would like to make way for new leaders. You can nominate yourself or someone else; voting is planned at next month’s meeting. … Some by-law tweaks were discussed (they are summarized and linked here) – a final vote is planned next month … There was discussion about how to get more community involvement, and also how to get more infrastructure for the neighborhood, especially with the roundabout project that has lost out on funding time and time again.

RAPIDRIDE H LINE: This planning-stages project, converting Metro Route 120 to the RapidRide H Line, was brought up by an attendee before meeting’s end. He said central Delridge in particular – the route area closest to Highland Park – is not getting much attention in the current discussions about stops and other aspects. (Here’s our most-recent coverage of what’s being proposed.) Co-chair Witzki urged people to take a look and interpret it “for themselves and how their neighborhoods might be affected.” Co-chair Scott mentioned that this is the type of topic for which committee creation would be optimal, and added that they could ask SDOT to come to HPAC’s February or March meeting.

DEPARTMENT OF NEIGHBORHOODS: Community-engagement coordinator Laura Jenkins reminded attendees that the Your Voice, Your Choice street/park-project-grant fund is in the idea-collection phase, through February 2nd – you can send in ideas online or on paper via libraries. One of the idea-reviewing meetings will be in east West Seattle, she said, either Highland Park or Puget Ridge. (Later in the meeting, HPAC concerns were voiced including what was happening with the projects that “won” last year (and a promised 11th/Henderson project that wasn’t on the official “winners” list), as well as ensuring that translated materials were available to community members for whom English is not a primary language). … Jenkins also noted that Neighbor Day is coming up February 10th.

APOLOGIES … that we arrived late (from the overlapping Lincoln Park Play Area meeting) and missed the first 20-plus minutes, including the update from Friends of Southwest Indoor Tennis.

The Highland Park Action Committee usually meets fourth Wednesdays – its next meeting is 7 pm February 28th at Highland Park Improvement Club (1116 SW Holden). Watch for updates.

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FAUNTLEROY BOULEVARD PROJECT: Update next week at Junction Neighborhood Organization Fri, 26 Jan 2018 04:31:41 +0000

(Fauntleroy Boulevard ‘final design’ – click here to see full-size image on city website)

You might recall that the Fauntleroy Boulevard project was long described as likely to start in “early 2018,” according to SDOT. Early 2018 is here, and not only is construction not imminent, some key project points haven’t even been announced yet – such as, whether Fauntleroy Way will be one-way or two ways during construction. But new information might be days away – for the first time in eight months, SDOT is scheduled to present a public update next Wednesday (January 31st). It’s on the agenda for the next Junction Neighborhood Organization meeting.

Also planned for the 6:30 pm meeting at the Senior Center/Sisson Building, updates on the Avalon Substation site, HALA Mandatory Housing Affordability upzoning, what’s next for Sound Transit light-rail planning (including the speculative renderings first shown here earlier this month), and volunteering opportunities. The meeting is open to anyone and everyone who’s interested.

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Alki Community Council: 59th/Admiral; beach signage; more… Fri, 19 Jan 2018 18:53:29 +0000 Toplines from last night’s Alki Community Council meeting:

(WSB photo, December 2017)

59TH/ADMIRAL: The ACC discussed the intersection as a followup to recent changes made by SDOT as part of the ongoing Admiral Way Safety Project, as well as advocacy by the Traffic Safety Task Force set up by parents at nearby Alki Elementary. A key point of discussion was getting a full traffic signal – which the parents want – versus keeping the pedestrian-activated light on Admiral and stop signs on 59th. ACC president Tony Fragada will ask that the SDOT project manager come to their next meeting; he’s also hoping to talk with West Seattle-residing at-large City Councilmember Lorena González, who chairs the committee that oversees safety.

NOISE ENFORCEMENT: Jesse Robbins, who initiated the project that eventually led to Councilmember Lisa Herbold‘s survey showing a high level of vehicle-noise concerns in the area, was back to visit (backstory is in our coverage of November’s ACC meeting). As previously reported, he and colleagues are working on a potential technology solution to the challenges that police say get in the way of enforcing noise laws (needing to hear/record/prove the violation, for example). He said they’ll be testing at an Eastside park twice in the next two weeks. Meantime, as previously reported, SPD is under orders to report to the City Council in March about enforcement-related issues; Southwest Precinct Operations Lt. Ron Smith said those contributing to the report include the City Attorney’s Office, regarding the state of noise laws and how they could be amended, and financially focused personnel to look at how the issue might be addressed in the SPD budget. Robbins says they would like to run a test at Alki this summer, but that depends on how the SPD report turns out.

CRIME TRENDS: Nothing of note to report so far since the start of the year, Lt. Smith said, but 2017 did bring a bigger reduction in crime in the Southwest Precinct than other precincts in the city, he said. (You can crunch crime numbers from neighborhood level to citywide level any time by going here.)

MORE ALKI SIGNAGE? This was a community-member-led discussion on whether Alki might benefit from more signs, whether to remind people about the laws prohibiting dogs on the beach or to educate people about birds in the area (similar to The Whale Trail and Seal Sitters signage about marine mammals). Department of Neighborhoods rep Yun Pitre suggested this could be proposed for funding via the Your Voice, Your Choice process that’s under way now. The ACC will look into having a Seattle Parks rep come to a future meeting to discuss not only signage but also chronic issues with trash pickup at the beach.

The Alki Community Council meets on the third Thursday most months, 7 pm at Alki UCC (6115 SW Hinds).

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SUMMER CONCERTS AT HIAWATHA: Now seeking 2018 performers! Thu, 18 Jan 2018 20:51:39 +0000

(WSB file photo)

As mentioned in our coverage of the Admiral Neighborhood Association‘s recent meeting, organizers of the ANA-presented Summer Concerts at Hiawatha are gearing up to plan this year’s series. This announcement is just in from Stephanie Jordan:

The Admiral Neighborhood Association (ANA) is now accepting performer submissions for our 2018 Summer Concert Series at Hiawatha Park!

The ANA Summer Concert Series at Hiawatha is a free, family-friendly outdoor concert event held outside the Hiawatha Community Center on Thursday evenings in the summer. The series is produced by the Admiral Neighborhood Association in partnership with Seattle Parks and Recreation, the Associated Recreation Council, and through the generous sponsorship of community businesses. Last year’s lineup can be viewed on the ANA website.

We are seeking performers for the following dates: July 19th, July 26th, August 2nd, August 9th, and August 16th.

Interested artists should provide:

1. a brief description of your musical style
2. links to website/music/video or other resources that will help us know your music better
3. contact information, including email
4. your fee for a 90-minute set
5. preferred dates (and any dates you are unavailable)

Please send all information to . The committee will accept submissions through February 28th, 2018.

If you or your business is interested in sponsoring the 2018 ANA Summer Concert Series at Hiawatha Park, please contact Dave Weitzel at

We would also love to hear from community members! Tell us what you’d like to see more of, recommend your favorite performer or style of music, or just say hello!

You are welcome to comment below with recommendations, and/or e-mail the same address mentioned above – – to reach Stephanie and the committee. This will be the 10th year for the series, launched in 2009!

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Morgan Community Association: From HALA and mural money, to where Lowman Beach’s crumbling seawall stands Thu, 18 Jan 2018 05:41:17 +0000 By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The lower-level meeting room at The Kenney was full for tonight’s Morgan Community Association meeting, and everybody there had the chance to vote on some big decisions – including spending thousands of dollars:

MORGAN NEIGHBORHOOD FUND: MoCA has no dues but does have this fund that resulted from the settlement of the neighborhood appeal of the project that became the Viridian Apartments. In settling the appeal, its developers agreed to donate $25,000 to MoCA, though the organization was not a party to the appeal. MoCA has never done anything with the money, but now has two applications for a share of it.

Vice president Phil Tavel presented the applications – one for restoring and protecting the mural behind the California/Fauntleroy Starbucks/Peel & Press/etc. building.

(WSB file photo)
P&P (WSB sponsor) proprietor Dan Austin has been exploring the project for 2+ years; the family that owns the building has committed some money, and told Austin they have no plans to sell the building. The family says it’ll contribute $3,000; the total cost, Austin says, would be about $10,000 – $8,500 with a discount the artist has offered – and he’s applied for $5,000 from the fund.

The other proposal to spend some of the money was for contributing to the HALA Mandatory Housing Affordability Final Environmental Impact Statement citywide-coalition appeal, which MoCA and dozens of other community groups around the city are supporting. The coalition has raised about $15,000 so far; MoCA is proposing contributing $5,000 from the fund.

Tavel, a criminal lawyer, said he had been at a coalition meeting this morning and believes the coalition has excellent legal help. Asked about the ultimate goal (by an attendee who says she works on affordable housing), president Deb Barker said, “a neighborhood say.” Board member Cindi Barker said the EIS acknowledges impacts on neighborhoods but “did nothing on mitigation,” so that’s also a way that a redone EIS could improve things. Deb Barker underscored, “We agree that affordable housing is needed – our zoning is going to change – but (this) is to make sure that these impacts dumped on us – that there is mitigation.”

Tavel addressed criticism that “we’re just NIMBYs trying to save our single-family homes.” He said the appeal is entirely about the inadequacy of the EIS – “it should be exemplary, not crappy.”

Both funding proposals passed.

ALSO ABOUT THE HALA MHA APPEAL: This discussion came after the funding vote since it was “old business,” though MoCA leaders acknowledged they probably should have switched the order. They explained that MoCA’s board decided in November to join the citywide coalition appeal without having taken a vote of attendees – it was a decision that needed to be made quickly, Deb Barker explained. So now at this meeting they asked whether group participants support/validate that decision. As first published in our November coverage, here’s MoCA’s appeal, PDF here, or embedded below:

After a flurry of questions, and discussion of the Morgan-specific points of appeal – including a previously dropped pedestrian-zoning overlay resurfacing in the FEIS without outreach or explanation – a majority of those present voted to support proceeding with the appeal. Next step: The Hearing Examiner proceedings starting in mid-April, at which the appeals – coalition and individual groups – will be heard together.

Also on the MHA topic – Cindi Barker noted that more than half the acreage in the Morgan urban village is single-family zoning that will transform to multifamily under HALA MHA. That would dramatically change the land valuation, so Morgan is looking at “permanently affordable home ownership” so that the multifamily wouldn’t all be rentals, people who wanted to buy would still have options. So they’re forming a committee to work on how to achieve that. They’ve already talked with the Office of Housing, and have a lot of work to do to figure out how to proceed – possibly through tools such as Community Land Trusts.

Deb Barker reiterated, they know the urban village is changing. They want to figure out how the transformation will work. It might even set a “path forward” for the entire city, Cindi Barker said. “Be a trend-setter,” she added, exhorting people to join the committee. (Contact for MoCA is on its website,

LOWMAN BEACH SEAWALL: Seattle Parks‘ David Graves was back to talk about what’s next, now that a feasibility study is out for what could be done to remedy the failing seawall at Lowman Beach Park. If you haven’t seen it yet:

This comes half a year after a public meeting that went over the problem and potential solutions. The study offers the range of what’s “possible – not necessarily permittable.” The total project cost would be about $2 million. Just replacing the seawall isn’t likely to be the ideal option, Graves said, while adding that they do acknowledge shoreline changes in nearby waterfront properties, especially to the north of the park. “There is an opportunity depending on where we end up on the design to add additional material to the system to help our neighbors to the north” since the state of the shoreline has kept additional “material” from moving naturally. In response to a question, he explained that the problem is that, with an “armored shoreline,” wind and wave action has scoured out material and there’s no natural source in the system to replace it.

He said some “study work” needs to be done, especially checking for “cultural resources” – since this was a “creek mouth back in the day – it’s a logical spot with the potential to run into Native American artifacts,” so digging will be done (not large-scale – mostly with hand tools, Graves says). And there will be a recommendation to the superintendent – then comes the quest for money, grant dollars to be specific, since there’s nothing in the Parks budget right now.

Responding to a question, Graves said, “In a perfect world, we would just yank the seawall out and be done with it.” But they have to have some consideration for effects on the neighbors. Another question: Timelines on next step? Third quarter of this year for the grants they’re angling for, Graves replied. If they did get a grant, that would mean money in 2019, followed by design, and construction not likely before 2020. You’ll see the next round of investigatory work at the site in spring. He hopes to make a recommendation to the superintendent by March. In the meantime, they’re monitoring what’s left of the seawall in case of total failure. Shouldn’t there be a warning sign on the failing wall, to keep people away? That’ll be looked into.

One neighbor said he’d been told by an expert that the existing wall “could be saved for $100,000” and said that idea shouldn’t be discounted.

Graves was also asked about Pelly Creek uphill; most of its flow gets discharged offshore, and there’s just a bit that still comes through the Lowman seawall. He also mentioned that “trees will be a component of whatever we do.” Something to say/suggest/ask? You can reach him at – “I’m always accepting comments,” he promised. He’ll likely be back at MoCA with an update this summer.

BOARD CHANGES: Treasurer Eldon Olson and public-information officer Cindi Barker are departing after a decade on the board. Candidates have come forward to succeed them; elections are at the next quarterly meeting in April.

MORGAN MINUTES: Quick updates –

*Tamsen Spengler provided an update on the Southwest District Council‘s January meeting (WSB coverage here). She is now SWDC co-chair. She spoke of the plan to use SWDC as a “community forum” to bring forth issues and potential solutions. The February 7th meeting (6:30 pm, Senior Center/Sisson Building) will feature a rep from Mayor Jenny Durkan‘s office.

*Tavel reported on the Southwest Precinct Advisory Committee. Property crimes are “down a little,” he says, and police are continuing to run stings – following package-delivery trucks in hopes of catching thieves who are doing the same thing. SPD also exhorts everyone to report crimes, no matter how small (even for example a car prowl with nothing taken).

*West Seattle Church of the Nazarene townhouse project – the City Council did not waive the Mandatory Housing Affordability fee for the project (as reported here last month). The church told us at the time they plan to proceed anyway.

*California/Orchard water-on-road fix – separate update to come.

*Morgan Junction Community Festival – VP Tavel said the first meeting of the festival committee is just a few weeks away and would welcome additional volunteers to get involved in planning the June festival.

*Your Voice, Your Choice – Cindi Barker provided a reminder that it’s suggestion time for this year’s round of community-proposed, city-funded projects (as mentioned here two weeks ago).

HERBOLD POSTPONEMENT: City Councilmember Lisa Herbold, a late addition to the agenda, ended up postponing her appearance until the April MoCA meeting.

The Morgan Community Association meets in January, April, July, and October, on the third Wednesday, 7 pm at The Kenney (7125 Fauntleroy Way SW) – watch between meetings.

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WEDNESDAY: Councilmember Herbold, HALA, Lowman Beach seawall at Morgan Community Association Mon, 15 Jan 2018 04:55:40 +0000 City Councilmember Lisa Herbold is the latest addition to the agenda for the Morgan Community Association‘s quarterly meeting Wednesday night (January 17th). She’s scheduled for a briefing on District 1 (West Seattle/South Park) issues close to the start of the 7 pm meeting. MoCA also plans a discussion of HALA Mandatory Housing Affordability upzoning – it’s one of 30+ groups citywide appealing the Final Environmental Impact Statement – and potential changes to the city Comprehensive Plan addressing how it conflicts with the longstanding Morgan neighborhood plan. Plus, Seattle Parks is scheduled to update the Lowman Beach Park seawall situation, seven months after a public meeting about the options for replacing it (or not), and one month after releasing this feasibility study:

Wednesday’s meeting is at The Kenney (7125 Fauntleroy Way SW). The full updated agenda is in our calendar listing.

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Admiral Neighborhood Association’s biggest question for City Councilmember Lisa Herbold Thu, 11 Jan 2018 08:24:25 +0000 Transportation questions dominated Q&A with City Councilmember Lisa Herbold at this month’s Admiral Neighborhood Association meeting.

Top of the list – the Admiral area’s dearth of Metro service, compared to West Seattle’s other urban areas. More than one attendee wondered why residents aren’t seeing return on the additional city taxes they’re paying for transit service.

Herbold said the city decided to go along with the county’s spending guidelines when the city-county partnership began, so right now, Metro’s priorities are focused on adding services to busy routes, and there’s no discussion of what to do about underserved areas. She thinks better metrics are needed to identify who needs better service. One suggestion: Invite Metro to Admiral for an open house, which could be a step toward showing what the area needs.

As she’s done at other community meetings, she also talked about the Alki-and-vicinity community survey that showed major concern about vehicle-noise issues; SPD is due to send a report to the council in March that will pave the way for working on enforcement, or on changing the laws to better facilitate it. Enforcement of the existing cruising ordinance is in the spotlight too.

And as she told the Southwest District Council last week, Councilmember Herbold mentioned the possibility of a West Seattle town hall with new Mayor Jenny Durkan. She says she’s confident it will happen, so watch for updates.

Also at the ANA meeting (which was held Tuesday night at The Sanctuary at Admiral):

SUMMER CONCERTS AT HIAWATHA: Planning for this year’s series is about to begin; committee members are needed to help out. The first concert is set for July 19th.

MEETING SCHEDULE: ANA’s been talking for a long time about cutting back on the slate of monthly meetings, and is now looking at meeting every two months.

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Fauntleroy Community Association: From HALA to parking to tulips Wed, 10 Jan 2018 23:21:25 +0000 By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

When a citywide coalition of community groups announced they would appeal the Environmental Impact Statement for HALA Mandatory Housing Affordability upzoning, three West Seattle groups were part of it. Now, a fourth has decided to join the appeal – the Fauntleroy Community Association. That decision happened during last night’s FCA board meeting, which as usual included a wide range of topics:

HALA MHA APPEAL: FCA president Mike Dey talked about having gone to a community meeting in The Junction and listening to the arguments about why this is being appealed, including a central argument for appellants – that the citywide proposal treats all neighborhoods the same way, with no accounting for or consideration of their differences. (For example, Fauntleroy and Morgan Junction deal with the traffic to and from the ferry terminal.)

Dey suggested FCA contribute $500 to the appeal and officially sign onto it so that FCA is on record as saying the don’t think the EIS was done correctly. He made it clear that even if the coalition wins the appeal, that “doesn’t mean the end of HALA” but could mean the EIS would be redone in a way that gives each neighborhood unique consideration. He said it’s important in the prism of the Joslin Building (9250 45th SW) rezone proposal, which could get even more height under HALA MHA.

Before the vote, board member Alexis Zolner wondered if FCA should seek wider community input first. It was subsequently pointed out that HALA’s been discussed by FCA before (and was on this meeting’s agenda) but no one has to date shown up to speak in favor of it. It was also pointed out that seeking to join the appeal is not a statement of opposition to HALA MHA and affordable housing – they just want the EIS redone to address neighborhoods’ unique conditions. FCA becomes the fourth West Seattle community council joining the appeal, after the Junction Neighborhood Organization, Morgan Community Association, and Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Coalition.

9250 45TH SW (JOSLIN BUILDING) REZONE: Vicki Schmitz-Block reported on the subcommittee that’s been researching this rezoning/redevelopment proposal for the parcel at the heart of the Endolyne Triangle (first reported by WSB, in October). For one, she said, the subcommittee recommends that FCA get involved with the HALA MHA FEIS appeal. They also want to invite the developer to come “tell us what they are proposing, at a public meeting” for the wider community, ideally later this month. “I think it’s important that the community hear firsthand from them, and then we’ll have a better idea of what the community (thinks).” FCA might call a meeting even if the prospective builders don’t want to make a presentation. Since the last FCA board meeting, the subcommittee has spoken with Councilmember Lisa Herbold, though she was clear that because she might have to vote on the proposed rezone (a “quasi-judicial” matter), her freedom to comment is limited. It was noted for anyone interested that 3029937 is the land-use permit number for the project as it makes its way through the city system. FCA will assemble online resources/links related to the proposal.

PARKING POLICY: The rezone discussion veered into this current citywide proposal and how Fauntleroy will and won’t be affected. FCA has been concerned about park-and-hide prevalence in neighborhoods near the ferry terminal and RapidRide stops, as well as car-share parking, but their appeal for expanded restrictions (Fauntleroy has West Seattle’s only RPZ) was denied last year. Some attendees mentioned reporting parking violations on their respective blocks and often getting good results.

51ST SW CONCERNS: FCA heard from a resident of 51st SW who said her area has had four landslides in recent years “emanating from 47th SW” to the east and is concerned that the city is not taking a big-picture look at the area. “With this propensity for density,” she said, they’re wondering “if more building permits” are on the way. Two owners on 47th have addressed water issues, another has “water still flowing,” she said. “We don’t want to be the next Perkins Lane,” referring to the Magnolia bluffside street hit hard by slides years ago. She mentioned one lot for sale in the area. “There is no oversight in total. … Everybody had their geotech report, everybody had surveyors come out, everyone was told ‘build a retaining wall’ … you have nobody with an umbrella looking at the whole street.” Another resident said, “Unless someone dies, they really don’t care.” FCA board members suggested they talk with Councilmember Lisa Herbold to let her know they’re looking for a coordinated response from the city.

TRIANGLE TASK FORCE: Gary Dawson, who is on this Washington State Ferries citizens’ advisory committee as well as his longtime involvement in Fauntleroy’s Ferry Advisory Committee, told his fellow board members that the task force is extending its work for another year. He said he’s continuing because he feels that if there’s talk about Fauntleroy ferry service, Fauntleroy needs to be represented. (The task force meetings are open to the public; next one is 4:30 pm January 18th at Fauntleroy Church‘s Fellowship Hall.)

COMMUNITY SURVEY: FCA’s periodic community survey will be going out soon, and will be announced in a variety of ways – we’ll publish the link here, Fauntleroy residents will get postal-mail postcards, etc.

WEBSITE UPDATE: New webmaster Bill Wellington has just updated the FCA website at, and its usability on mobile devices has been improved, too. You’ll see more information there in the months ahead.

ANNUAL MEETING AND FOOD FEST: 6 pm, Tuesday, March 20th will be this year’s date for the big meeting – “to get our community together and understand what FCA is, to have people pay their dues, and also to vote on the incoming board of directors,” as board member David Haggerty put it. Community organizations and area restaurants are invited to participate.

ENDOLYNE TRIANGLE PLANTERS: New planters are about to arrive and so are 1500 tulip bulbs, to be planted Saturday morning (January 13th) starting at 9 am – volunteer help welcome; bring gloves and a trowel. The tulips will be purple.

RAPIDRIDE STOP SAFETY: FCA board member Marty Westerman, who’s also on the West Seattle Transportation Coalition board, said they’re campaigning for improved crossing safety at Rose Street’s RapidRide stop. He also noted that a Washington State Ferries rep is due to speak at the next WSTC meeting, 6:30 pm January 25 (Neighborhood House High Point, 6400 Sylvan Way SW).

The Fauntleroy Community Association board meets second Tuesdays most months, 7 pm at the Fauntleroy Schoolhouse. Everyone’s welcome.

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TUESDAY: Your city councilmember @ Admiral Neighborhood Association Mon, 08 Jan 2018 05:35:07 +0000 Last week, our area’s City Councilmember Lisa Herbold brought updates on many issues to the Southwest District Council (WSB coverage here); your next chance to bring up a question or concer is next Tuesday, wen she’ll be at the Admiral Neighborhood Association. The full ANA agenda is in our calendar listing; they’ll also be launching planning for this year’s Summer Concerts at Hiawatha series (which ANA presents). You’re also welcome to be at the meeting (7 pm Tuesday, The Sanctuary at Admiral, 42nd/Lander) to answer two calls for volunteers: Leading the area’s Emergency Communications Hub, and chairing a new committee to plan Admiral District holiday decorations.

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HALA UPZONING: Morgan Community Association update on what it’s pursuing and what’s next Fri, 29 Dec 2017 06:48:07 +0000

That’s the “preferred alternative” map for proposed zoning changes to implement HALA Mandatory Housing Affordability in the Morgan Junction urban village, as included in the MHA Final Environmental Impact Statement issued by the city last month. The Morgan Community Association is one of the neighborhood groups that’s filed an appeal of that document, as well as joining in a separate citywide-coalition appeal. Tonight MoCA’s president Deb Barker sent out this community update on where things stand:

Dear Morgan Junction Community:

It’s the Holiday season and we know that you have a lot going on so we’ll keep this end-of-the-year summary brief.

The Morgan Community Association (MoCA) has been deeply engaged in the City’s HALA/MHA program changes for over a year, starting with our November 2016 HALA/MHA Workshop for District 1. We want to brief you on the current HALA/MHA status and how Morgan Junction is affected. If you have any questions – please ask.

Morgan Junction Comprehensive Plan Amendment. At a special Comprehensive Plan meeting on November 14, 2017, MoCA meeting attendees learned about some potential options to achieve housing results that address neighborhood concerns, and that would meet the Morgan Junction Plan Housing Goal. Attendees voted on the different options and endorsed a general policy statement of encouraging affordable, entry-level, family-sized owner-occupied housing within the urban village. In early December, MoCA focused on this policy concept in our comments to the City on their draft Comp plan amendment language. We also repeated our request for formal neighborhood-planning engagement to modify any portions of our neighborhood plan. The City Council will vote on Comprehensive Plan amendments later in 2018.

We are now taking steps to turn the policy concept into a tangible program, so that our community wishes are incorporated along with the MHA proposals that will be discussed for final adoption in 2018. We met with Councilmember Lisa Herbold in late December and have a meeting request in to Mayor Durkan to discuss the Special Review District idea.

Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) Released. In mid-November, the City released its final EIS and proposed maps that up-zone all areas of the Morgan Junction Urban Village including eliminating all single-family zoning from the Urban Village. In the document, the City was dismissive of Morgan Junction’s concerns about flaws found in the original draft EIS. 

Legal Appeal. In reviewing the City’s FEIS document, the MoCA Board came to the realization that the only recourse to have our specific Urban Village concerns addressed would be to file an appeal of the FEIS. Other neighborhoods were realizing that only legal action would force the City to provide a true neighborhood planning process to address the environmental impacts specific to neighborhoods as well as city-wide impacts. The November 27 FEIS appeal deadline was several months before scheduled Morgan Community Association member meetings, and the Board voted to file a placeholder appeal and bring the issue to the January 2018 Membership meeting. The Board also approved joining with a coalition of 26 neighborhood and other interested groups (the Seattle Coalition for Affordability, Livability and Equity) seeking to require the City to adequately analyze, disclose and address the full impacts of its proposed up-zones, as well as provide a true alternative. Appeal efforts involve member commitment and funding, and a member group can withdraw at any time. The Seattle Hearing Examiner will hear the appeal starting on April 23, 2018.

What’s Next. MoCA’s next quarterly meeting is next month. There will be discussion about the MHA/FEIS, the appeal, the Comp Plan Amendment language and progress on the Special Review District policy concept as well as actions related to the Morgan Junction Neighborhood Fund. Please join us on January 17, 2018 at 7:00 at The Kenney to discuss the next steps and to vote on key policy issues. We look forward to seeing you.

Deb Barker, President
Morgan Community Association

The full agenda for the January 17th MoCA meeting is in our calendar listing.

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Admiral Neighborhood Association: From noise to Hubs to HALA and beyond Thu, 14 Dec 2017 07:56:26 +0000 By Linda Ball
Reporting for West Seattle Blog

The Admiral Neighborhood Association‘s last meeting of 2017 on Tuesday night brought a number of issues to the table.

Election of officers for the new year included president Larry Wymer and treasurer Carrie McCann continuing in their respective roles, but the vice-president and secretary positions remain available until the next meeting, or until someone comes forward to volunteer.

From noise to Hubs to HALA, here’s what else happened:

SURVEY FOLLOWUP: As promised, Newell Aldrich, legislative assistant to City Councilmember Lisa Herbold, came to address the upshot of the Alki Public Safety and Health Survey, which was open for seven weeks earlier this year.

As witnessed every summer, Alki Beach is a regional destination, unique in that people from all over Seattle come to hit the beach, see and be seen, especially on sunny days. What’s different from other similar areas of the city is that people actually live and work near this beach, unlike for example, Golden Gardens.

With 1,100 people responding to the survey, noise from modified vehicle exhaust systems was identified as the number one concern, followed by distracted drivers, speeding, noise from sound systems, unmuffled engine compression brakes (especially near the West Seattle Bridge), cruising, vehicle tire noise, excessive idling, non-visible front and rear license plates, and tinted windows, the latter two making it difficult to identify offenders.

Aldrich said that there was some increased SPD staffing at Alki this summer, but only the chief of police can allocate more officers to an area in the long run. Some of these issues are difficult to enforce, he said, but the city plans to talk to the Sheriff’s Office, the State Patrol, and other agencies to see how they enforce excessive noise. Assigning traffic-enforcement officers could be a challenge, but might be possible, he said.

Then there is the possibility of technology that detects excessive noise, similar to catching speeders. The bottom line is that it’s all tied into the city budget, he said. A provision in the new budget directs SPD to study all this and report back to Herbold’s office by March 16, 2018, in advance of the warm weather season, before things get rowdy again.

HALA UPZONING APPEAL: Deb Barker of the Morgan Community Association visited to talk about the appeal to the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA) Mandatory Housing Affordability upzoning Final Environmental Impact Report, filed by a coalition of more than two dozen groups from around the city, three from West Seattle, including MoCA (the Admiral group is not participating).

The goal of the appeal, Barker said, is for the Hearing Examiner to send the FEIS back for further work. Barker said the proposed upzoning is not in step with what the coalition is looking for. Further, the group feels that HALA MHA suggests a one-size-fits-all solution for urban villages around the city. As an example, Morgan currently has some older affordable apartment buildings, but the upzoning could lead to redevelopment, making them no longer affordable. With MHA allowing developers/builders the option of paying a fee for affordable housing separate from their projects, she said, that does not guarantee the money related to West Seattle projects would provide WS affordable housing. It could go anywhere, which accomplishes nothing for keeping neighborhoods intact, in critics’ view.

“The FEIS had lots of information, but not the quality you’d expect when dealing with something this large,” Barker said. As reported here earlier today, hours after the ANA meeting, Barker and others in the coalition attended a meeting that led to the setting of dates for the appeal hearing, next spring.

HELP THE HUB: In addition for the need of volunteers for officers’ positions on the association’s board, an Admiral Emergency Communications Hub Captain (the Hubs are explained here) is desperately needed. This position would be the go-to person in the event of “the big one.” Someone with experience in disaster response would be ideal. There are hubs throughout West Seattle (see the map here) but Admiral does not have a leader. The Captains monitor volunteers and meet regularly with other Seattle-area hub managers, in addition to being the point-person in event of a disaster.
Barker said in the event of “the big one,” West Seattle is going to be stranded. She said SFD will be occupied with the big stuff, like collapsed bridges and fires. The hubs are quite informal, but if you have resources such as ladders or a generator, that would be where to go to volunteer such items. On the flip side, if you’re alone and have no resources, this is the place to go for help. Wymer said, “We really, really need someone in this position.” If you can step up, or know someone who has the needed skills, contact

HOLIDAY DECORATIONS NEXT YEAR? One more volunteer position is needed. After speaking to some of the local merchants, including Metropolitan Market, there appears to be interest in establishing a committee to decorate the Admiral Junction for the holiday season next year. If you or anyone you know is interested in chairing such a committee, contact

NEXT YEAR: The next meeting of the Admiral Neighborhood Association is January 9, 2018, also at the Sanctuary, 2656 42nd Ave SW. Wymer made a motion to discuss revising the organization’s by-laws at the next meeting, to meet quarterly rather than nine times a year, as is the schedule now, unless there is an urgent, specific topic to discuss immediately.

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