(Photo by Glenn Gauthier for SSCC)
South Seattle Community College (WSB sponsor) recognized its scholarship donors and recipients last night at the annual Friends of the College Dinner. SSCC says 125 of its 240 scholarship-receiving students were in attendance; the awards totaled more than $600,000. More information from SSCC communications director Kevin Maloney:
South also announced a new endowment scholarship that was established in memory of Stephen K. Rockwood. This award will be given to students from South’s renowned Culinary program in his honor.
South alumnus John Titus, President and CEO of Aero Controls Inc., was recognized with the 2012-2013 Outstanding Alumni Award:
Titus was honored for his generous support and donation of aviation equipment for classroom use and as a member of the Aviation Technical Advisory Committee. Additionally, Titus made a surprise announcement that he will establish an endowment scholarship for aviation students at South.
The evening was capped off by recognizing 19 members of South’s faculty with annual development grants for their outstanding work in the classroom.
ORIGINAL REPORT, 11:45 AM: Thanks to the WSB’er who just texted us (206-293-6302 any time) that picture of truck vs. car at/near the curve by 16th/Dawson (location and map updated). It’s causing traffic trouble for vehicles including at least one Metro bus, we’re told. No word of injuries so far (no fire/medic callout, either); we’re headed to the scene to find out more.
12:20 PM UPDATE: The bus has gotten through. But the scene isn’t clear yet and it may be a while. Added the photo above, by co-publisher Patrick Sand.
1:24 PM UPDATE: Route 125 is back to normal, Metro has texted.
(Photo by SSCC’s Glenn Gauthier)
Thanks to South Seattle Community College (WSB sponsor) for sharing that photo from today’s grand-opening celebration at the new Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institution (AANAPISI) center, highlighted in our “West Seattle Tuesday” morning roundup. SSCC communications director Kevin Maloney explains, “The AANAPISI center staff provides culturally appropriate student services to support and assist students in achieving their educational goals and increase the mobility of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in higher education.” Joining in the ribboncutting were SSCC president Gary Oertli and college-system chancellor Dr. Jill Wakefield, who are on the left side of the photo with SSCC student Mathew Apelu, while at right is Kendee Yamaguchi, executive director of the Washington State Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs. The new center is on the second floor of the SSCC Library.
4:19 PM: Just got some information about a situation that led to a campus-wide alert at South Seattle Community College (WSB sponsor). According to Seattle Police spokesperson Det. Jeff Kappel, police were investigating “a threat” – he wouldn’t get any more specific than that. No injuries, no arrest reported. Our tip came from a reader whose spouse reported a lockdown situation for a while at the school; we have been unable to reach anyone at SSCC for comment, but the reader says the “all-clear” was just given.
4:53 PM UPDATE: Added a photo of the two police cars that were outside the school when we went by. No further details on the threat, though a spokesperson at the community-college system’s central communications office says there’ll be a followup message for the campus tomorrow.
5:02 PM UPDATE: Just got a call back from vice president of student services Rosie Rimando, who says that this started with a report from a student, who said another student had made a “threat of gun violence on campus.” Rimando says, “Within minutes it was reported to security, and while SPD began an investigation, we went into shelter-in-place, basically a lockdown, across campus.” She says that was a preliminary precautionary measure until they “confirmed that the student in question [who allegedly made the threat] was not on campus and not in the area at all.” That student, she says, has since been contacted and is “suspended from campus” while the investigation continues. A schoolwide team is also taking this, she says, as “an opportunity to brush up on our emergency-response plan,” but “we don’t feel like there is any danger” to the campus or surrounding community.
ADDED FRIDAY AFTERNOON, 1:30 PM: Associate vice president for college relations and advancement Elizabeth Pluhta e-mailed us the official statement on what transpired yesterday, including a note about a past incident brought up in the comment section:
Late Thursday afternoon a student reported a threat of gun violence on campus by another student. Campus Security and Seattle Police were immediately called, and Seattle Police began investigating on campus. The college also instituted “shelter in place” precautions, which included locking buildings and rooms, and notifying staff and students. Once Seattle Police confirmed that no threat was present on campus, the “all clear” was given. The student making the threat has been contacted and is suspended from campus pending a conduct investigation.
Using the phrase “lock down” in our message may have been stronger than necessary, but our first reaction was to be protective until more was known about the situation. And, had there been an active threat, there are other emergency communication tools that would have been used.
The college regularly conducts emergency preparedness training sessions and emergency drills. We will review our response to this situation in order to continue improving our safety and security on campus.
Regarding the pistol found in the backpack on campus in December, that student faced disciplinary action through the normal student conduct process. Student privacy laws prevent us from discussing the specific result.
We subsequently asked her about the alert that was sent out, since some said they didn’t receive it, but our original tip came from someone who said their spouse had seen “e-mail” about the lockdown:
In this situation we used a computer “pop-up” system that sends a message to all computer screens on campus, over-riding anything on the screen at that time. If there had been active danger, we would have added a voice message through our outdoor speaker system, and we also have a warning system that can send a voice message to all campus telephones, using the speakerphone feature. In addition, all college staff and students are encouraged to sign up for Campus Alerts, where we send a text or e-mail message to the phone or computer the subscriber lists. The Campus Alert sign-up is available on our website.
Three dozen fruit trees on trellises at the Community Orchard of West Seattle are in need of somebody special to plan their care and their future. Here’s the announcement from COWS:
The Community Orchard of West Seattle, located at the South Seattle Community College North Entrance (6000 16th Ave SW), is currently seeking an Intensive Fruit Trellis Volunteer Coordinator.
Did you know the 1/8-acre Community Orchard site contains 36 dwarf trellised fruit trees? These trees must be weighted and pruned in a very specific manner to stimulate fruit production. When done properly, the trellis can produce incredible apple yields in just 3 years time!
COWS is seeking someone to help plan the next steps for our intensive fruit-tree trellis and other fruit-bearing trees.
The perfect volunteer would be a landscape/horticulture student or experienced gardener with knowledge of fruit=tree care and maintenance.
This person will help to research high-intensive trellis care, and develop a plan for the long-term management of this important resource.
For more information about this volunteer position, please contact the Community Orchard @ email@example.com
Next Monday, the new school year starts at South Seattle Community College (WSB sponsor) on Puget Ridge. Today, they’re celebrating receiving the “military-friendly school” designation again:
South Seattle Community College has been designated by G.I. Jobs magazine as a “Military Friendly School” for 2012 – 2013, the third year in a row.
G.I. Jobs polled more than 7,000 schools across the country to compile its “2013 Guide to Military Friendly Schools.” Criteria for making the list included efforts to recruit and retain military and veteran students, results in recruiting military and veteran students, and academic accreditations. The recognition honors the country’s colleges and universities for their work in welcoming military veterans and enhancing their student experience.
The honor ranks South in the top 15 percent of all colleges, universities and trade schools nationwide that are doing the most to embrace those who have served their country.
South was noted a good choice because of the college’s experienced staff and personal commitment to ensure that each and every veteran that comes to South has all the means necessary to complete his or her academic goals.
Ta-da! You saw it in the shop at South Seattle Community College‘s Automotive Technology zone one week ago (WSB coverage here), and today, the Schumacher Racing hydroplane rolled out, showing off its new look. (Official name, so you can watch for it during Seafair in August: The #37 Miss Beacon Plumbing H1 Unlimited Hydroplane.) Video and more photos, coming up.
ADDED 9:54 PM: Scroll through our sequence of photos and video as the event unfolded, starting as one last component was carried over to be placed atop the hydro:
Today’s biggest Spring Clean event was in White Center, with hundreds of volunteers – many of whom gathered at the plaza in Greenbridge to celebrate afterward. We have more photos on our partner site White Center Now. Just a few miles north, in Highland Park, this was Spring Clean day too, with multiple locations – we photographed volunteer Craig at the SW Kenyon street end slope near 14th SW:
And north from there, on Puget Ridge, Tasha Mosher shares a photo, explaining, “Puget Ridge volunteers rocked the clean up today! Here is a picture from the clean up at the Myrtle Stairs. Ilah Mosher joined approximately 15 other volunteers to pick up garbage, clear storm drains, and prune back weeds and shrubs. Fun was had by all!”
Congratulations to everybody who joined forces today – and so many other days – to brighten up their neighborhoods.
Tomorrow you have at least three chances to get out and help clean up local neighborhoods! Spring Clean events are planned in Puget Ridge, Highland Park, and White Center. And we’ve just received a request to put out the call for volunteers on behalf of Puget Ridge – from Tasha Mosher:
Residents of Puget Ridge will be cleaning up the neighborhood as part of the City’s annual Spring Clean campaign tomorrow from 10 am to noon. Neighbors will meet at 5644 17th Ave SW to pick up supplies and form work teams at 9:30 am.
Other neighbors will be meeting at 10 am at Sanislo Elementary, including the team that will be cleaning and restoring the natural area at the school. There will also be a team cleaning the Myrtle steps as a combined effort with volunteers from the North Delridge Neighborhood Council.
If you can help tomorrow, just show up in one of those spots! As for the other two = White Center Spring Clean has ended registration for participants, but Highland Park is welcoming help, and you can get details here. Anybody else spring cleaning tomorrow?
ORIGINAL 1:43 PM REPORT: So far we’ve gotten reports from Pigeon Point and Puget Ridge that some are without power. City Light‘s “system status map” happens to be down right now for maintenance, but we have a call out to the utility to find out more about what’s going on. Please let us know if you’re reading this via something battery-powered because the outage is affecting you too.
1:53 PM UPDATE: Just heard back from Scott Thomsen at City Light. He says the outage is affecting 2,061 homes/businesses. They’re not sure about the cause but he says dispatchers got a report of “balloons in the wires” somewhere in the area – and if that’s the problem, he says, it should be a quick fix (p.s., Scott adds, please DON’T release balloons, especially the mylar ones, they’re bad news for power lines); if that’s not the cause, it may not be so quick. The boundaries SCL lists – which are never precise, so this does NOT mean everyone in this area is powerless, nor does it mean no one is without power outside the “boundaries” – are Brandon SW on the north, SW 106th on the south, 21st SW in the west, 10th SW in the east. In comments here, and via the WSB Facebook page, we’re also hearing that part of West Marginal Way South – which is part of South Park – is affected too.
2:18 PM UPDATE: Thanks for all the updates. Some in Highland Park report their power’s back on. Haven’t heard from other areas yet.
4:21 PM UPDATE: No formal followup info from SCL yet but more people have reported getting their power back. The “system status” map is back too and indicates one lingering trouble spot, in Puget Ridge.
(Click image for larger view)
Tonight, another look at an old Puget Ridge farmhouse that apparently sparked a fair amount of curiosity and imagination last weekend, after we published a photo Mike Gerber took during the St. Patrick’s Day snow showers. He sent three more photos this weekend and explained:
A surprising number of people asked for some additional information on the old house in the photo you ran last Saturday. Here’s a better angle of it. As for it being the oldest orchard house in Seattle, there’s very little in the historical record about this particular section of West Seattle and so it’s difficult to date it.
The area was covered in enormous old growth forest prior to the 1870’s, and the very valuable and spectacular trees were cut and turned into a hodgepodge of small farms and orchards and over the next 20 years. The construction is consistent with that era and it would seem logical that the trees growing closest to Elliott Bay would be the first to go.
I also met a wonderful and very credible old guy a number of years ago who had lived next to the orchard at one time. He said the house had been built in the 1880s, but that it had been vacant since the Depression.
During the construction of our home we came across four piles of very old lumber that turned out to be the collapsed remnants of small shacks, probably where orchard workers once lived. Under one of them we found two perfectly persevered ‘skat’ playing cards that were made in Germany in the early 1900s, where many of the workers came from.
Skat is considered the national game there and is played everywhere.
It would be interesting to know if any other readers have anything to add to the history of this relatively little-known area.
The location is described in the comment section following last weekend’s story.
One more photo from this morning’s snow – Mike Gerber shares what he describes as “a photo of snow falling on the last remains of the oldest fruit orchard in Seattle. The building in the foreground is the original farmhouse, built in the 1880s, and stands as a reminder of the thousands of Eastern European immigrants that tended these vast orchards that once stretched from Pigeon Point all the way past Burien.
The site is on Puget Ridge, as described on a website Mike has for a house he’s selling nearby.
The Community Orchard of West Seattle continues to grow – in more ways than one – on the northeast side of the South Seattle Community College campus (6000 16th SW). And SSCC’s horticulture zone is where you’ll find the COWS seed sale till 3 pm today – with more than seeds:
Strawberry and chive plants were on sale too, just $1 each. Look for the canopy and the signs leading you into one of the Landscaping/Horticulture buildings, where you’ll find the sale, just north of the north parking lot. For a closer look at the orchard site itself, they’re offering Health and Harvest Tours every Tuesday afternoon, 2-4 pm.
By Keri DeTore
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
Using a concept that originated in China, where people would gather in park corners or on street corners to practice their English, the Seattle Chinese Garden on the north side of the South Seattle Community College campus is hosting a series of “corner” gatherings to teach Chinese language and culture.
The first one is tomorrow.
According to Julia Freimund, program director of the Seattle Chinese Garden, this series is a collaboration between the garden, Chinese Language Teachers of Washington, The Confucius Institute of Washington and Chief Sealth International High School. Instructors from each organization (Freimund, Chunman Gissing, Donna Tang, in photo at right, and Pollyanna Wang, who took the photo) have been creating a curriculum meant to teach Chinese culture and language in a fun, hands-on way.
(Photo by WSB co-publisher Patrick Sand)
Thanks to everybody who e-mailed us about what turned out to be another case of a watchful neighbor tipping police to a burglary. It happened in the Puget Ridge area; police at the scene near 18th and Brandon told us they had five people in custody. Here’s how SPD says it unfolded: A neighbor called around quarter till noon to say two people who had arrived in a car were kicking in a door, then while police were on the way, the neighbor called back to say both suspects were in the house. Police got there and wound up taking five people into custody, all apparently headed to the precinct for questioning. Too soon to know if there’s any chance they are connected to other break-ins, but we’ll follow up.
ADDED 3:10 PM: A little more info from Lt. Pierre Davis at the Southwest Precinct, who declares this, “Our West Seattle community and police partnership at work again” – He says, “Our officers, upon getting the info via 911, was able to locate and make the stop of the suspect vehicle. Upon the stop of the vehicle, two of the suspects fled on foot but were later apprehended by investigating officers. The witness was able to ID the subjects and their vehicle.”
In case you wondered about the big police response in the Puget Ridge area this past hour (21st/Holly) … turned out to be something of a false alarm. What looked like someone with a gun turned out to be someone with a pellet gun/airsoft-type gun, roleplaying a bit too realistically, apparently – according to scanner traffic, it looked to at least one witness like a holdup in progress, and that report is what sent police rushing to the scene.
Two incidents handled by local police in the past few days – a burglary and a dog attack in which both a child and another dog were bitten. Read on for reports from the victims in both cases: Click to read the rest of Reader reports: Puget Ridge break-in; Highland Park dog attack…
Classes start Monday at South Seattle Community College, and today was a day to celebrate the about-to-start school year. This afternoon, college leaders gathered to celebrate their community partnerships with the second annual “Salute to South” reception. SSCC president Gary Oertli is starting his second year on the job, and gave a short speech with shoutouts to some of the people and programs strengthening the West Seattle college known in short as “South”:
As Oertli explained, hundreds of college staffers and new students had gathered for an even-bigger look ahead to the new year, during the annual convocation. SSCC had more than 7,500 students last year, according to online stats.
(Photo courtesy Seattle Chinese Garden)
Been to the Seattle Chinese Garden yet? It’s on West Seattle’s Puget Ridge and ready to greet you at an open-house celebration one week from today. From the official announcement:
The Seattle Chinese Garden will host a free public open house to celebrate the completion of the garden’s first courtyard, named Knowing the Spring. Yueming Ling, vice mayor of Seattle’s sister city Chongqing , along with Seattle city officials, will attend the May 15 festivities. A lion dance will open the celebration, which includes martial arts and traditional Chinese dance performances, painting and calligraphy demonstrations. …
Knowing the Spring Courtyard was designed by architects in Chongqing, located in southwest China, and built in collaboration with Chinese artisans, local architects and contractors. The Seattle Chinese Garden, when complete, will be one of the largest Chinese gardens outside China, and the first in the United States to be designed in authentic Sichuan style. …
The Seattle Chinese Garden is located at the north end of the South Seattle Community College campus at 6000 16th Avenue SW, in West Seattle. The Open House is May 15, 2011, from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Admission is free, but donations are greatly appreciated.
(Photos courtesy Stu Hennessey)
By Keri DeTore
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
Thanks to a group of Puget Ridge neighbors, the historically agricultural parcel of land at 5265 18th Ave SW [map] will retain its agricultural status and become urban farmland in West Seattle.
Stu Hennessey, owner of Alki Bike and Board, is part of a community group that has been working toward the preservation of this site to turn it into a publicly owned permaculture farm, to be known as Puget Ridge Edible Park (PREP). They applied for, and were recommended to be granted, a $520,000 share of the Parks and Green Spaces Levy Opportunity Fund (here’s our coverage, with video, of project supporters making their case last October).
He says, “We thought it would be cool to have a P-Patch or garden” for fresh produce in their neighborhood.
That’s not fog or mist … that’s steam rising off hot compost at the site of the future Community Orchard of West Seattle. A group estimated at up to 50 volunteers has just wrapped up a truly groundbreaking work party, putting down cardboard (remember the donations last fall?) and compost mulch along the orchard site, which is now on the northeast side of the South Seattle Community College campus. They worked at the site – undaunted by the steady rain – after a morning permaculture workshop.
ADDED: Two photos shared by organizer Aviva Furman (best known for Community Harvest of Southwest Seattle):
She has some words of gratitude in the comment section – and info on how you can get involved with the orchard.
Following our earlier report about Walt Hundley Playfield getting Parks and Green Spaces Levy money for new turf, as recommended by the levy’s Oversight Committee last night, here’s more big news from that meeting: Of the two West Seattle projects that were finalists for money from the levy’s Opportunity Fund, both will get money – one from the fund, one from other sources. The committee is recommending $520,000 for Puget Ridge Edible Park, a site for edible gardening, education, and more, proposed for a parcel in the 5200 block of 18th SW. (Added Wednesday – Stu Hennessey tells WSB that work should start next spring.) And it’s recommending that the Highland Park Spray Park – originally scheduled for a very basic installation where the HP wading pool is now – get “inflation funding” so that it’ll get the water- (and fun-) maximizing features that community advocates led by Carolyn Stauffer were asking for. The recommendations need approval from acting Parks Superintendent Christopher Williams, and then the City Council will vote on them next year.
(SSCC President Gary Oertli speaks to SW District Council, with SW Precinct Capt. Steve Paulsen and the city Department of Neighborhoods’ Southwest District Coordinator Stan Lock at right)
More from last night’s Southwest District Council meeting: The SWDC, which has long met at South Seattle Community College, got to officially meet its new president, Gary Oertli, a born-and-raised West Seattle native. “West Seattle is a state of mind – diverse, entrepreneurial, innovative – we hope South Seattle Community College reflects that in the same way.” He shared some data points with council members, and you might not know them either:
*More than 15,000 students
*West Seattle and Georgetown campuses, New Holly Park and “Airport University” locations
*Average age: 33
*70 percent of students work part-time or full-time
*Largest program: Its transfer program
*300 students in wine-technology program
*Hundreds in Running Start
*340 international students
*Annual operating budget of $53 million, with 500 employees
The numbers weren’t all rosy; Oertli also talked about the 25 percent budget cuts that community colleges have endured in the past two years, with more to come because of the state’s financial situation, but SSCC is working hard to keep serving people including the “thousands of laid-off workers (who) have turned to community colleges to upgrade their skills,” in addition to other students. And they’re working to expand the 13th Year Promise Scholarship program, with one free year of community college for students at Cleveland High School: “Our goal is to do that for EVERY student at the high schools in our service area.” Finally – they’re reaching out to the West Seattle community for increased partnership, and inviting everyone to find out more about SSCC. One place to start: The next wine-release event for its popular program is coming up November 15th (find out more here).
The night started with a full house, and then some, at Miller Community Center on Capitol Hill, full of people supporting one (or more) of the 15 projects that made the list of finalists for Parks and Green Spaces Levy Opportunity Fund money – and a few that didn’t (the committee is free to change the list before making its final recommendations). Listening to the pitches: The levy’s Oversight Committee, citizen volunteers including three West Seattleites: Bruce Bentley, Pete Spalding of Pigeon Point, who as vice chairman is running the hearing (he’s in the white hat), and Cindi Barker of Morgan Junction:
The first West Seattle representatives to speak as part of the hearing included five speakers supporting Puget Ridge Edible Park – part of a delegation that appeared to number about a dozen – seeking a little over half a million dollars to acquire a “homestead” property in northeastern West Seattle, telling the committee about the neighborhood’s involvement and determination. One of the strong community voices for PREP, Stu Hennessey, talked about its ties to the watershed for Puget Creek and the Duwamish River, and how it would cleanse water bound for those waterways, also promising, “We will be producing a lot of food on this land.” Also noted: The project’s proximity to South Seattle Community College, which is starting a permaculture program, and would use PREP as a “demonstration park” for students and other community members. (video added later) Steve Richmond also talked about an envisioned partnership for PREP:
Later in the hearing, the committee heard from Carolyn Stauffer of Highland Park, on behalf of the HP Spray Park proposal that she spearheaded: (video added later)
As she told the committee – with an entourage of supporters surrounding her – this is already a “named project” for Parks and Green Spaces Levy money, but as a bare-bones spray feature (replacing the existing HP wading pool) – if the half-million-dollar request is granted, not only will the park be more fun, but it will save more than 2 million gallons of water per year. (She is one of two people who have spoken about it so far.)
The committee also has heard from passionate supporters of projects around the city – perhaps the biggest contingent represented Friends of Lewis Park on Beacon Hill, all armed with little yellow signs; one group advocated for Jimi Hendrix Park, while others talked about a project proposed for the neighborhood of the iconic Fremont Troll.
If you weren’t able to make it to this hearing (which looks to have at least another half-hour to go – we have some video to add when we get back to HQ), you can still comment on the projects until November 17th; the committee is scheduled to make its final recommendations to Parks leadership on December 6.
If you can spare time Monday night to be at Miller Community Center on Capitol Hill, you can help two community-envisioned park dreams in West Seattle come true. As first reported here last month, two local projects are among the finalists for the first round of Parks and Green Spaces Levy Opportunity Fund money, the upgraded Highland Park Spray Park plan, and Puget Ridge Edible Park, each seeking about half a million dollars from the voter-created levy fund. Supporters of both are asking for support at Monday’s citywide public hearing on the 15 finalists – first, here’s the pitch from Carolyn Stauffer, a Highland Park resident hoping the currently planned bare-bones conversion at the closed HP wading pool can be a real spray park:
Don’t Forget!! The Highland Park Spraypark was one of 15 projects citywide that made it to the “Draft” Final List for funding from the Opportunity Fund! We need your continued support to make sure we stay on the list! Here are two ways that you can help:
1. Come to the Public Hearing this MONDAY NIGHT to tell the Oversight Committee how awesome this project is and how much you support it. You get three minutes to speak, the signup sheet for speaking goes up at 6 pm, and the meeting starts at 7 pm. Details: October 25, at Miller Community Center: 330 19th Ave E, Seattle. We need people… the more physical presence we can have at this hearing the better, you don’t have to speak – someone can speak on behalf of a group of people too…
2. and/or you can e-mail Susanne Rockwell your voice of support at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call her at 206-684-0902.
Please forward this to any other neighbors that might be interested in helping out by demonstrating to Parks one last time that the Highland Park Spraypark has the support of its community. Here is an excerpt from the final application that summarizes what we would like the priorities for the project to be:
* Water Conservation: Sprayparks are already using a precious natural resource; we would like to ensure that our park demonstrates a water-wise approach and uses our region’s resources responsibly. With this as a goal, we would prefer the use of a recirculating pump for the Highland Park Spraypark.
* Exceptional Water Play: We would like to see the design incorporate a combination of high and low-flow spray nozzles and present outstanding, inspiring, and diverse play opportunities for our neighborhood’s children and youth of all ages.
* Integrated Sustainable Design unique to Highland Park: We don’t want an “amusement park” type of spraypark that could be plopped down anywhere. We would like to see a design that is distinctive to Highland Park, one that demonstrates state-of-the-art technology for water use and re-use, and is a model of sustainable practices.
And here are some current numbers – this additional funding for the spraypark would help us:
* save 19,400 gallons of water a day, or 2.2 million gallons a year – that’s 98% less water than the proposed system would dump down the drain
* save over half the annual cost of running the spraypark
* reduce the 20-year life-cycle cost by 63%
* manage wastewater from the spraypark on-site, reducing sewer fees substantially and allowing for groundwater recharge
On behalf of the Puget Ridge Edible Park proposal, also one of the 15 finalists citywide, Stu Hennessey‘s urging support at Monday night’s meeting too:
The acquisition grant that the Puget Ridge community is looking to obtain would be used to purchase an exsiting original homestead in West Seattle along the Puget Creek Watershed and create an urban working farm. This farm will be dedicated to permaculture design and will provide an excellent learning center for the public and our community. We also look forward to a future with brighter local food security. We need your support at (Monday’s public hearing) … Speakers are encouraged… This is the final hurdle…. We can do it….. We need to show the same kind of community support that we had at last summer’s presentations. Please contact me for carpooling.
(Video added after the hearing)
(Group of speakers asking the council to cancel cuts in a domestic-violence program)
ORIGINAL 6:31 PM REPORT: We are about 45 minutes into testimony at the City Council Budget Committee hearing in Brockey Center at South Seattle Community College in West Seattle. By our unofficial count, about 200 people are here; more than 70 have signed up to testify – though so far, we have seen some of the speakers bring up others to take part of their turn, so the eventual number may surpass that. West Seattleites who have spoken so far include Fran Yeatts, executive director of the West Seattle Food Bank, and a Senior Center of West Seattle volunteer. WS Food Bank’s Shannon Braddock spoke too:
It’s not too late to come to the hearing, which is likely to last several hours – signups are being taken at the north entrance of Brockey Center. Six councilmembers are here; Sally Clark has sent word she will be here after another commitment wraps up around 7 pm.
7:19 PM UPDATE: All councilmembers are here now – the last to arrive was Mike O’Brien, as of 6:53 pm.
West Seattleites who have spoken in the past 10 minutes or so include Katy Walum, president of the Admiral Neighborhood Association (above), and Mat McBride, chair of the Delridge District Council, both opposing the proposed Department of Neighborhoods cuts – specifically, the proposed cuts in district coordinators and in the Neighborhood Matching Fund. Two Highland Park residents, including City Council candidate (next year) Dorsol Plants, have spoken in favor of the Streets for All program – some of its objectives would be met by the increase in the commercial parking tax that Mayor McGinn is proposing. We are now on the 48th speaker, but the number of actual speakers will be longer than the number signed up, since some are bringing up associates to tag onto their time.
7:37 PM UPDATE: Lisa West from the Alki Elementary PTSA and two area kids (including her 7th-grader daughter) are testifying to keep Alki Community Center completely open:
She says that in 45 minutes today at school she collected more than 40 signatures from parents who want to keep the community center from reductions that are tantamount to a closure. “Alki Community Center is the one place I allow my children to go on their home,” she says. She also mentions that whether you live in an apartment or a house, few of the residences in the Alki area have yards for kids to play in – she is becoming emotional as she tries to read through a statement to the council. She says that the outdoor areas of the park are not an option because there are so many problems – caused largely by adults. And with maintenance cuts, she says through tears, how will they even use the outdoor basketball courts? The indoor courts, she says, are the main source of recreation during winter weather. “Our community is diverse and rich, and is just that – community,” and the area around the community center and school are a meeting place for parents, both before after school. (We have her testimony on video and will add it, along with several others’ clips, later.)
7:53 PM UPDATE: More West Seattle speakers – Patrick Dunn from Sustainable West Seattle, on behalf of keeping the Neighborhood Matching Fund whole – he mentions that it helped launch the successful and popular West Seattle Tool Library, and also is paving the way for the in-the-works Community Orchard of West Seattle.
After him, Tony Fragada of the Alki Community Council is up, mentioning yet more Neighborhood Matching Fund projects (including the money just given to Seal Sitters for education):
Then, mega-involved Chas Redmond, co-chair of the Southwest District Council (among other things), mentioning how the grant money has helped SWS with even more projects such as the Sustainable West Seattle Festival. (We interviewed Redmond and Dorsol Plants, mentioned earlier, on video before the hearing.)
“3 years after our 1st conversation with the Department of Neighborhoods, we have become an organization in West Seattle that has amazing capacity,” Redmond says, even able, now that it’s a 501(c)3, to help other groups. He says it’s a tool to allow the city to “amplify its neighborhoods.”
7:59 PM UPDATE: Rick Jump from the White Center Food Bank is testifying, not against a cut, but to ask the council to support the mayor’s request for $35,000 for WC Food Bank – which serves city residents but has never received city money. He also says the food bank has just started a new program for city residents, a mobile food bank that on Tuesday at Arrowhead Gardens served 80 senior citizens. (The orange scarf he wore was also worn by dozens of others to show support for human-services spending.)
8:27 PM UPDATE: 81st speaker now. 80th speaker was Alki’s Steve Cuddy, another voice opposing the “virtual closure of Alki Community Center.” A few speakers earlier, Fairmount Community Association’s Sharonn Meeks spoke, another voice in support of restoring Department of Neighborhoods cuts, speaking about how the Southwest Neighborhood District Coordinator in particular is so important for community connection and assistance – giving the example that was given at the recent Southwest District Council meeting, the huge Gateway cleanup two years ago, bringing together hundreds of volunteers – it couldn’t have happened without district coordinator Stan Lock‘s help. Now, Fauntleroy Community Association’s Vlad Oustimovitch, also on the DON cuts, saying that McGinn is “the second mayor in a row that’s tried to dismantle (the department)”:
9 PM UPDATE: The hearing is over, after 95 speakers. Probably the single most-testified-about topic was the cable public-access network SCAN, with multiple groups like this one taking their turn:
Before the hearing, musicians who perform on the cable channel serenaded people as they arrived:
There’s one more budget hearing coming up at City Hall later this month (October 26 – details here), and other meetings/hearings/chances to comment before the City Council approves a final version, which is expected on Nov. 22nd. We’re back to HQ with photos and video to add to our coverage.
This will come up again later in our reports on last night’s Fauntleroy Community Association and Admiral Neighborhood Association meetings, both of which included discussions of the city budget proposal, but for now, here are the basics on tonight’s hearing, one of three the City Council Budget Committee – which includes all nine councilmembers – has scheduled: The official agenda is here, including links to related documents, and some guidelines for how the hearing will go; the hearing is not in a “listen to a presentation and then comment” format, but instead, almost entirely (you can expect some introductions and instructions) for public comment. They’ll take signups starting at 5 pm, and speakers will start at 5:30 pm. It’s in Brockey Center, the event venue on the south side of the South Seattle Community College campus; here’s a map to SSCC (6000 16th SW), and once you’re there, here’s a campus map. The Seattle Channel will likely webcast the hearing live as it did with the first one; if so, we’ll stream it here too. Previous WSB coverage of the budget’s potential West Seattle effects includes running coverage from the day it was announced, a closer look at the targeted-for-closure SPD Mounted Unit, and detailed discussion of the Department of Neighborhoods‘ potential cuts.
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