(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).
From tonight’s Southwest District Council meeting: There’s new hope the City Council will consider canceling a budget cut directly affecting West Seattle — the proposed closure of the Neighborhood Service Center in The Junction and elimination of its Neighborhood District Coordinator‘s job. The coordinator’s responsibilities include liaison and communication work on behalf of the council and the neighborhoods it represents, and the SWDC, as well as many of its member groups, had formally asked the council to consider canceling the cuts. Tonight, SWDC co-chair Erica Karlovits noted that the council is looking at the Department of Neighborhoods‘ budget tomorrow, with two specific line items of interest, one titled “(r)estore Southwest Neighborhood Service Center,” the other titled “(r)estore Neighborhood District Coordinators.” (In the mayor’s budget plan, which DON director Stella Chao outlined to SWDC last month, Southwest coordinator Stan Lock is one of seven whose jobs are on the line.) The agenda calls for the council to get to this item around 2 pm; you can see the full agenda here. (More news to come from tonight’s SWDC meeting.)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
One day after facing the City Council Budget Committee to explain the cuts proposed for her section of city government, Department of Neighborhoods director Stella Chao faced what arguably could be considered a tougher, and even more personally involved, group: The West Seattle neighborhood-group/organization reps who comprise the Southwest District Council.
“We took a big hit,” Chao acknowledged – including a 22 percent cut in the Neighborhood Matching Fund program, which has helped pay for community-generated projects such as parks and traffic projects.
But the part of that “big hit” which concerned the SWDC members even more was the proposed closure of the Neighborhood Service Center in The Junction and the elimination of the Neighborhood District Coordinator job headquartered there – a job held by Stan Lock, who sat just two seats away, and has declined comment on the proposed job cut since it was announced.
As Chao listened to member after member declare that even if the center itself had to be lost, Lock’s role is too vital to cut, for the health of the neighborhood and the issues it’s dealing with, she reiterated: While it’s important for her to hear, the people who most need to have the case made to them, are the City Council members who will be here in West Seattle for a public hearing next week.
Read on for more on her appearance and other major discussions at SWDC last night, including a shorter discussion of the Seattle Public Library‘s proposed cuts, and an update on Alaska Airlines’ “Greener Skies” program, which could change Sea-Tac approach paths in this area: Click to read the rest of Dept. of Neighborhoods budget: Like ‘cutting an arm off’ vs. a leg…
Highlights from Wednesday night’s Southwest District Council meeting, covered for WSB by Christopher Boffoli:
First up was the Southwest Precinct‘s Lt. Norm James, who gave a quick briefing on some crime stats. Compared to the same time a year ago, major crime overall is down about 2 percent, while residential burglaries are down 10 percent. This decline in burglaries has helped the overall decline for crime rates across the SW Precinct.
According to Lt. James, there has been a modest decrease in violent crime compared to other precincts, but the violent crime rate is so low anyway in our precinct that even one incident can cause a statistical spike. Property crimes are down 2 percent overall, but what is troubling across all precincts is a rise in auto thefts. This is linked to a wave of auto theft arrests/aggressive sentencing that occurred several years ago. The theory is that those thieves are being released from prison about now and many are returning to what they used to do. Car prowls remain relatively low and stable.
Lt. James touched briefly on the smash-and-grab burglary suspect who is believed to have been responsible for 11 burglaries in the SW Precinct, 8 in the South Precinct, and 19 in King County overall, for a total of 38 smash-and-grab burglaries. He said the man arrested had been out of prison for several months (he had previous theft convictions) at the time the burglaries began. The case was a tough one, owing to the hit-and-run nature of the crimes and the fact that they had very little video footage. But he commended the SPD detectives for doing a great job coordinating with King County detectives and ultimately apprehending the alleged burglar (who pleaded not guilty this week to the three Burien cases in which he is charged so far).
Lastly, Lt. James spoke of the citywide pilot program in which SPD officers have been going door to door in neighborhoods, surveying residents for their opinions on safety and crime issues (first reported here during a trial phase). This survey is a supplement to statistical information collected when citizens call 911. The program started in the North Precinct and will soon be officially heading this way. Pigeon Point will be the first neighborhood where officers will be knocking on doors in the evening (beginning next month). Their goal is to contact every household. So he said not to be surprised to see an officer knocking on your door soon. Read on for more from the SW District Council meeting: Click to read the rest of SW District Council: Crime stats, CM Sally Clark, Junction plan……
First of three short reports from last night’s Southwest District Council meeting at South Seattle Community College: Southwest Precinct Lt. Norm James gave members a quick briefing on crime trends – helpful since the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council, which usually gets those briefings, isn’t meeting this month. Lt. James says that fighting car prowls has been an area of emphasis for the precinct for the past few months, and in June it appears to have paid off – 80 car prowls in West Seattle in June, down from 130 in May. Auto theft, he said, also is on the decline. And he mentioned that there currently are “more officers assigned to this precinct than we have ever had.” That’s enabled them to have an “09 car” – outside the regular patrol mix – daytime and nighttime, assigned to California SW businesses, particularly from Admiral to The Junction. Those officers “walk, talk, meet with business owners,” according to Lt. James. And without citing specifics, he also said they’re geared up for a “lot of activity on Alki” this first really warm summer weekend (which includes, on Alki, the Seafair Pirates Landing on Saturday).
In case you hadn’t checked the WSB West Seattle Events calendar yet – where things are getting lively again now that the long holiday weekend is over for most – the night’s marquee event is the Southwest District Council meeting, where they’ll get the latest road/highway construction updates directly from WSDOT and SDOT reps. Also scheduled as guests, Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Joe Kessler and King County Councilmember Jan Drago. The public’s always welcome; the meeting’s at 7 pm in the board room in the central building at South Seattle Community College (6000 16th SW).
Southwest District Council members had been looking forward to talking with Mayor McGinn on Wednesday night … till the matter of hiring a police chief got in the way. So instead, Deputy Mayor Darryl Smith filled in, while his boss presided at a chief-candidates public forum downtown. When it was all over, in a discussion ranging from The Viaduct to park-n-rides to stalled developments to the city budget, SWDC co-chair Chas Redmond told Smith, “You took our heated questions very gracefully.” See why he said that – ahead: Click to read the rest of Southwest District Council, #2: Deputy mayor on Viaduct, more…
(May 17th photo by Christopher Boffoli)
Two weeks ago, Southwest District Council co-chairs Chas Redmond and Erica Karlovits, along with West Seattle Junction Association executive director Susan Melrose (photo second from right), hosted a visitor at “The Hole” – Natalie Quick (photo left), a spokesperson for Madison Development, whose owner owns the entity that holds the note for the stalled Fauntleroy/Alaska/39th project. The tour (WSB coverage here) was in response to the letter that Melrose drafted and the SWDC sent in April, pointing out safety and aesthetic concerns at the long-idle site. But a written response didn’t come till now: Melrose announced at tonight’s SWDC meeting that it had just been received, signed by Quick. Shortly after the May 17th tour, a few steps were taken – tagged tarp was replaced along the fencing, and “they did get out there with a weed-whacker,” as Melrose put it tonight. But now, she told the council, they’ve addressed other issues. For one, she said, they don’t have a solution for the issue of “The Hole” being right up against the sidewalk with nothing to stop, oh, say, a car from going in, but “they’re working with SDOT.” She says they have “agreed to remove the chain-link fence surrounding the park,” the small triangle adjacent to the site’s southeastern corner, and to maintain “the park.” And she says they will create a more aesthetically pleasing backdrop on that corner, including “a reinforced wood fence,” as well as making public the reports about the condition of the shoring on the north side of the site. Last but not least, they’re “committing to actually checking up on the site,” Melrose reported. We’ll add the letter itself when we get a copy. (More from the SWDC meeting coming up next – including the hour of discussion with Deputy Mayor Darryl Smith.) ADDED 8:55 AM THURSDAY: Here’s the letter – actually more like a memo – in its entirety, just forwarded by SWDC co-chair Karlovits.
It was one of the hottest topics on last night’s Southwest District Council meeting – the upcoming closure of the 1st Avenue South ramp to the westbound West Seattle Bridge, as part of the Spokane Street Viaduct Widening Project. The closure’s now 11 days away – Monday, May 17th – and project manager Stuart Goldsmith got some tough questions last night at the SWDC meeting after taking some tough questions: What about West Seattle traffic after the closure? he was asked, as SWDC co-chair Erica Karlovits of the Junction Neighborhood Organization pointed out that trouble on The Bridge can back up traffic all the way into The Junction, or well into North Delridge. Goldsmith said SDOT would keep an eye on that. Meantime, the department has just issued another official reminder tonight of the impending ramp closure (which will mean almost a year and a half with no access to the westbound bridge between 99 and I-5), along with the official detour map (above) – read on for the full text: Click to read the rest of 11 days and counting: Another 1st Avenue S. ramp-closure alert…
(Tuesday photo by David Hutchinson, taken from Don Armeni)
Tonight – Seattle City Councilmember Sally Clark is scheduled to visit the Southwest District Council‘s regular meeting, where you’ll also get an update on the Spokane Street Viaduct Widening Project – now with a week and a half to go till the 1st Avenue South onramp to the westbound West Seattle Bridge closes. The SWDC series of neighborhood-plan presentations continues as well, with council co-chair Chas Redmond presenting the Morgan Junction Neighborhood Plan (see the full original plan here). SWDC meets in the board room at South Seattle Community College (map), 7 pm … Also tonight, CoolMom‘s monthly meeting focuses on edible gardening, 7 pm at C & P Coffee at 5612 California SW (and remember, CoolMom’s got a big group sale on West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day this Saturday at Cycle University [WSB sponsor], sale #92 on the map). … And tonight, you’ll find Cinco de Mayo specials all over the peninsula – Feedback Lounge (WSB sponsor) has a drink special on its website (which also reveals when they’ll debut the new drink menu discussed in our recent story about their 1st birthday), and in the Admiral District, Mission‘s planning a bash including giveaways and DJs.
11:34 PM UPDATE: Southwest District coordinator Stan Lock has just sent word that Councilmember Clark is sick and won’t be at this meeting, but will reschedule for a later date.
A week and a half ago, the Southwest District Council decided (WSB coverage here) to send a letter to the owner of The Hole, aka the excavated-then-stalled Fauntleroy Place development site at Fauntleroy/Alaska/39th, asking for safety and aesthetic improvements. The letter subsequently was sent, after a few changes (here’s our report with the final version). We subsequently sought reaction from the addressee, Seattle Capital. After a few days, spokesperson Mary Grace Roske sent this reply:
I have talked with representatives of Seattle Capital Corporation, managing member of Fauntleroy Place LLC, and they have received the letter from the Southwest District Council. Seattle Capital intends to respond to the letter and is reviewing the issues raised. A response will be sent as soon as reasonably possible … the property is in foreclosure and that legal process continues.
A motion for judicial foreclosure was filed eight months ago (WSB coverage here) as part of the ongoing lawsuits (consolidated into one mega-case that is currently set for trial in October).
“We need to start the conversation,” said Susan Melrose of the West Seattle Junction Association at last night’s Southwest District Council meeting, as she proposed a letter “on behalf of the entire West Seattle community” to try to get something done about safety and aesthetics issues at The Hole (the stalled-and-lawsuit-embroiled development site at Fauntleroy/Alaska/38th). “The development is clearly not going anywhere,” Melrose noted, “and it’s a major safety hazard sitting on that corner … It’s time to take steps to improve that situation … It would be great if the West Seattle community could speak with one voice” to express that concern.
She brought this draft letter; the plan to send a letter based on that one (with a few tweaks) was unanimously approved. But the issue of who it will be addressed to was the subject of some discussion and debate. Suggestions for addressees included virtually every elected official in the city, from the mayor to councilmembers to the city attorney, as well as multiple agencies, and of course, the various concerns believed to be potentially responsible for the hole itself.
Particular points of concern include the chain-link fence ringing the site, the condition of the sidewalk around The Hole, and the triangle of city-owned parkland that’s now fenced off. What kind of fence they’d like to see instead, council reps agreed would be up for discussion; the original wording of the letter suggests painted plywood, but from the audience, Mike Heavey, representing County Councilmember Jan Drago‘s office, said that might be more dangerous than the chain link, since “you can’t see what’s on the other side” – visitors might not be aware, for example, about the four-story drop. The current fence has some screening material that’s now tagged, observed SWDC co-chair Erica Karlovits of the Junction Neighborhood Organization, and council members thought that would be worth pointing out to the city, who could order the property owner(s) to clean it up. Whatever the wording, said Vlad Oustimovitch of the Fauntleroy Community Association (and briefly a onetime consultant to a former party to the project), “the important thing is to point out there’s a health and safety issue (at the site) and something should be done.” We’ll update you when the final version of the letter is complete (again, here’s the draft); also, we’re working on an unrelated story about the site, which you’ll see here later today/tonight if breaking news doesn’t interrupt.
ALSO FROM THE SOUTHWEST DISTRICT COUNCIL MEETING: What City Council President Richard Conlin had to say about the budget battles (and a funding vote that may come before you next year), and other assorted notes – read on: Click to read the rest of A letter about The Hole, and more, from Southwest District Council…
Plenty of discussion when we reported last month that the Southwest District Council – reps from community councils and other groups/organizations around western West Seattle – agreed to send a letter to King County Executive Dow Constantine asking that part of the forthcoming RapidRide “C Line” route be revisited. The council has finally received a reply – delivered in person by Constantine staffer Chris Arkills toward the end of this past week’s SWDC meeting – read on: Click to read the rest of West Seattle RapidRide: County “not inclined” to reopen route talk…
First note from tonight’s Southwest District Council meeting – a reminder about something first announced at the group’s last meeting: We’re now less than two weeks away from the organizational/planning meeting of a neighborhood council for the Genesee area – which would cover much of the turf currently unrepresented between Alki/Admiral/The Junction. That meeting is still on for 7 pm March 16 at West Seattle PCC (WSB sponsor); SWDC co-chair Chas Redmond has put together a flyer that we’re expecting to get shortly – we’ll add it here (and to this meeting’s entry on the WSB Events calendar) when it arrives. 12:10 AM: Added the map he sent – and here’s the flyer.
From the Southwest District Council meeting that just wrapped up: One of this year’s goals has been to increase participation from more areas of the western half of the peninsula, which is the SWDC’s turf, so there’s been talk about helping community groups start (or restart) in two unrepresented areas – Genesee/Genesee Hill and Arbor Heights. So far, SWDC co-chair Chas Redmond reports, there’s progress in Genesee – and an organizational meeting is planned March 16, 7 pm, West Seattle PCC (WSB sponsor) – everybody in that area’s welcome, and you’ll likely see flyers soon urging you to be there. We’ll check on the exact area targeted here; this is what the city has mapped as Genesee, but it seems to stretch way past the area that had been discussed. (Lots more SWDC news to come.)
From last night’s Southwest District Council meeting: First topic doesn’t directly affect West Seattle, but you’re invited to have a say on it just the same. The county is thinking about getting rid of Metro’s “electric trolley” buses and replacing them all with diesel-hybrid buses, explained on the county website, and covered last fall by Central District News. No electric buses run in West Seattle, but they’re seeking region-wide reaction; electric buses cost more to buy, but there was much concern last night that the costs are higher, and that electricity is more sustainable, in the long run. A survey you can take will be online shortly; Jim Del Ciello also booked presenter Jonathan Dong (of SDOT) on the spot for next Tuesday’s Admiral Neighborhood Association meeting. Item #2 is West Seattle through and through – a progress report on Sustainable West Seattle‘s plans to create a Tool Lending Library for the area. SWDC co-chair Chas Redmond made the presentation. Read on for those details and a couple other notes from last night: Click to read the rest of Southwest District Council: Of trolleys, tools & neighborhood plans…
City reps made the rounds this fall to talk with various community organizations about proposed changes in the Neighborhood Matching Fund – which is relied on to help pay for a multitude of projects around the city, doubtlessly including more than a few near you. But one proposed change drew fire: The city had suggested a category in which citywide projects might be eligible for the money, instead of limiting the fund strictly to projects based in a neighborhood. That idea was strongly opposed at the October meetings of the Southwest District Council (here’s our report) and Delridge Neighborhoods District Council (here’s our report). Tonight, it looks like those concerns were heard loud and clear: The changes for next year have just been announced (read the news release here), and we confirmed with Department of Neighborhoods rep Lois Maag that they do NOT include the “citywide project” eligibility clause. She says that will be reviewed again in the future, but is not part of the changes for 2010. Still have questions? A workshop about the NMF – focusing on its Large Projects Fund – will be here in West Seattle on January 21 – 6 pm at Youngstown Arts Center.
NORTH DELRIDGE NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCIL: 6:30 tonight, Delridge Library (map). Holli Margell sends word of what’s in store:
Want to cast another vote? Join us (tonight). We’ll be reviewing the “Bridging the Gap” Projects for the neighborhood to prioritize and narrow down the list for submission. Also on the agenda are our guest speakers, Amy Pennington of Urbangardenshare.org and Galena White of the Delridge Produce Coop, both sharing about their programs and answering our questions.
SOUTHWEST DISTRICT COUNCIL: 7 tonight, South Seattle Community College (WSB sponsor) board room (map). As previewed here, highlights will include deputy Parks superintendent Christopher Williams with an update on plans for West Seattle Golf Course‘s future, and a rep for Councilmember Sally Clark talking about neighborhood planning. (The next step on that is tomorrow night, at a meeting that’s not in West Seattle but needs as many WS attendees as it can get – the followup to July’s neighborhood-plan “status check” meeting and all those online questionnaires – Thursday, 6 pm, Mercer Middle School on Beacon Hill [map].)
The planned agenda for next Wednesday’s Southwest District Council meeting has just been sent out by district coordinator Stan Lock, and they’re expecting two special guests: Deputy Parks Superintendent Christopher Williams is expected with an update on planned improvements at West Seattle Golf Course; a representative from Councilmember Sally Clark‘s office is expected with an update on the neighborhood-planning process. (See our story from earlier this week.) The SWDC meeting at 7 pm Wednesday in the South Seattle Community College (WSB sponsor) board room will come one night before the next key gathering in the neighborhood-plan-update process — THAT meeting next Thursday is on Beacon Hill (complete details here), but it’ll include discussions of the 5 West Seattle neighborhood plans, so WS representation is vital.
Headlines from Wednesday night’s meeting of the Southwest District Council: Two briefings regarding changes in the ways citizen-proposed projects get money from certain city funds. One set of changes, for the Neighborhood Street Fund, didn’t draw much controversy as SDOT’s Krista Bunch explained things, but the other, for the Neighborhood Matching Fund, did. Read on: Click to read the rest of Southwest District Council talks new city-money rules, and more…
SOUTHWEST DISTRICT COUNCIL: Tonight’s agenda includes Dante Taylor from SDOT briefing the group on the proposed changes in Junction parking. The map you see above is the official version of the one that was shown in rough draft to the recent Parking Project Committee meeting (WSB coverage here); it’ll be on a mailer going out to area homes/businesses shortly. Also on the agenda for tonight’s meeting: 7 pm, board room at South Seattle Community College (WSB sponsor).
NORTH DELRIDGE NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCIL: 6:30 tonight, Delridge Library.
COMBINED SEWER OVERFLOWS – AND WHAT THAT MEANS TO LOCAL BEACHES: Tonight and tomorrow night, King County Wastewater Treatment Division comes to West Seattle to talk about two projects involving pump stations and “combined sewer overflows” — what happens when the system gets overloaded – which affects Puget Sound and local beaches more than you might realize. Tonight’s meeting looks at the “Murray basin” – related to the underground pump station at Lowman Beach north of Lincoln Park. It’s at 6:30 pm at The Kenney; background information here. Tomorrow night, it’s the “Barton basin,” related to the underground pump station next to the Fauntleroy ferry dock – that meeting’s at 6:30 pm, The Hall at Fauntleroy; background info here.
Last week, the Highland Park Action Committee hosted the fall’s first major candidate forum in West Seattle (WSB coverage, with video, here). Coming up in two weeks, what’s likely to be the biggest West Seattle candidates’ forum of all, co-sponsored by the Delridge Neighborhoods District Council and the Southwest District Council, whose members include reps from all major community groups and organizations around the area. Pete Spalding from DNDC has just sent this update on the plan for the October 15th forum:
West Seattle Candidates Forum
The Delridge Neighborhoods and Southwest District Councils will be hosting the candidates for the Seattle City Council and Mayoral races.
7:00 pm Opening remarks
7:05 pm Position #4 Candidates
7:25 pm Position #6 Candidates
7:45 pm Position #8 Candidates
8:05 pm Position #2 Candidates
8:20 pm Mayoral Candidates
Come find out how your candidates view West Seattle specific issues.
From tonight’s Southwest District Council meeting, from which we’ll have more to report later – Alki Community Council rep Tony Fragada says the date is set for the placement of the new time capsule (with items collected late last year) at the Statue of Liberty Plaza: September 19th. We’ll be checking on other details of the event and will add them when we get them. ADDED 11:06 PM: Just found a mention of this event, along with other Alki news, in the new edition of the Alki News Beacon, which you can download as a PDF here.
SOUTHWEST DISTRICT COUNCIL: Reps from community councils/associations and other major organizations in what the city refers to as the Southwest District section of West Seattle (map left) will gather in the board room at South Seattle Community College, everyone welcome, 7 pm. City Councilmember Bruce Harrell (who chairs the committee overseeing utilities and technology) will be a guest, as will reps from Friends of the Seattle Public Library and Southwest Seattle Historical Society to talk about the fire-damaged Alki Homestead.
NORTH DELRIDGE NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCIL: Neighbors from all around North Delridge are welcome – note that because of this week’s library shutdown, NDNC will meet at Olympia Pizza (5605 Delridge; map), 6:30 tonight. Lots going on in the neighborhood (including plans for another get-together at mid-month, following up on the ice-cream social success).
FUNDRAISER FOR FIRE VICTIMS: 4-8 pm at Feedback Lounge (WSB sponsor) in Morgan Junction (6451 California SW; map), you can bid on silent auction items to help out local musicians/artists affected by a July house fire near The Junction last month. More on the FL website.
Not West Seattle-specific but of potential interest here:
SEATTLE SCHOOL BOARD: Last meeting before the new school year starts a week from today; agenda items include the new contract just approved by the teachers’ union. 6 pm, district HQ in SODO (2445 3rd S.; map)- here’s the agenda.
FINAL ELECTION RESULTS: The last few ballots are to be counted and the county will certify the August 18th vote today (watch for the final report here). The trends that took shape within the first week of ballot-counting haven’t changed – but now we’ll have the final numbers to read the tea leaves looking ahead to November 3rd.
No major public meetings tonight, but tomorrow night, you might want to show up for the Southwest District Council‘s monthly meeting at the South Seattle Community College board room if you’re interested in libraries or landmarks: The agenda includes a Friends of Seattle Public Library rep talking about the SPL budget – hot considering this is the week the libraries are shuttered to save $ – and a Southwest Seattle Historical Society rep discussing what’s up with the landmark Alki Homestead Restaurant, closed since the fire last January. Also on the agenda, Seattle City Councilmember Bruce Harrell, and a discussion of the candidates’ forum the SWDC and its counterpart the Delridge Neighborhoods District Council plan to co-sponsor before the November election (as reported here last month). The council meets at 7 pm Wednesday, board room at SSCC (campus map here; map of the Robert Smith Building, containing the board room, here).
The Southwest District Council usually meets the first Wednesday of the month but moved and shortened its meeting this month to combine with an SDOT presentation about neighborhood traffic calming – and that brought out more than a dozen extra attendees. At left, SDOT’s Christina Legazpi with a radar gun, which her colleague Jane Rebelowski explained is often the first tool to determine if your neighborhood really needs help. If you sign up and get at least four more people on your street to join you, you’ll be able to take a class on how to use a radar gun, which will be loaned to you. She suggests neighbors work in pairs to track how fast cars are going and what type of cars are seen speeding. They notch two hours of logged observations to gauge the speed problem. Then comes the next phase – SPD enforcement and/or installation of calming measures. They can include signs, humps, chicanes, chokers (chicanes right across from each other) … all explained here, all potentially funded by money you can apply for. So how effective are the various measures? she was asked – and: Why not put up more stop signs? She says the federal government outlaws simply using stop signs for traffic calming – and they’re easily ignored anyway. Some attendees said they’d applied for traffic calming and gotten turned down; Rebelowski said she’d take a look at the specifics of their applications. If you’re interested in finding out more about how to confirm whether your neighborhood has a problem, and then figure out what to do about it, e-mail her: firstname.lastname@example.org – and note that this year’s deadline to apply for projects like traffic circles is fast approaching, end of the month.
The group also heard from Andrea Petzel with the same presentation on “backyard cottages” that she gave to the Delridge District Council last month – the city is considering allowing them in more areas. One attendee asked if there would be a vote or whether the City Council would “just ram it down our throats.” Junction Neighborhood Organization president Erica Karlovits expressed concern about density; Petzel said the cottages would only be allowed on single-family lots, but Karlovits pointed out that in The Junction, single-family residences are in close proximity to the ongoing new high-density building. Petzel countered by saying the city planned a maximum of 50 permits per year and she didn’t think that would ultimately affect density. (According to the “backyard cottage” program website, they’ve been allowed in Southeast Seattle for three years, but only 18 permits have been sought.)
At left is The Kenney‘s CEO Kevin McFeely, when we caught up with him at West Seattle Summer Fest in The Junction last weekend. This afternoon he’s expected to be at the Municipal Tower downtown as The Kenney introduces its landmark nomination for the Seaview and Sunrise Buildings to the city Landmark Preservation Board (see the document here), a prelude to The Kenney’s redevelopment plan moving forward. 3:30 pm, board room on the 40th floor of the Muni Tower. The rest of the Wednesday highlights happen tonight:
(Photos by Matt Durham of mattdurhamphotography.com)
ArtsWest ‘s “Sweeney Todd” opens tonight. It’s a production of the Summer Youth Musical Theater Apprenticeship Program and plays through July 25; showtimes and ticket info can be found here. Also tonight — three meetings tackling an array of big issues:
NEIGHBORHOOD TRAFFIC CALMING: The traffic circle at left is just one example of the many tools that can be used to “calm” neighborhood traffic. If you have questions, concerns, ideas about your neighborhood, anywhere in West Seattle, come to an SDOT public meeting at 6:30 tonight in the South Seattle Community College board room. The Southwest District Council-presented event also includes a Backyard Cottages briefing at 7:30 and an 8 pm version of the briefing that will happen earlier at the next event:
DELRIDGE DISTRICT COUNCIL: Haven’t made up your mind yet on the bag-fee referendum that’s on next month’s ballot (official city voters’ guide info here)? That’s the measure asking city residents whether to approve or reject the City Council-approved fee for using non-reusable shopping bags. A pro-bag fee rep will speak to the Delridge District Council tonight, among other items on the agenda at 7 pm, Youngstown Arts Center.
MORGAN COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION: We published a preview last night (see it here); tonight’s MoCA meeting, 7 pm at The Kenney, includes a long list of hot topics from The Viaduct to RapidRide to future work at the Lowman Beach pump station.
All contents copyright 2013, A Drink of Water and a Story Interactive. Here's how to contact us.
Header image by Nick Adams. ABSOLUTELY NO WSB PHOTO REUSE WITHOUT SITE OWNERS' PERMISSION.
Entries and comments feeds. ^Top^