In no particular order, just various loose ends and other items we wanted to mention:
JAIL-SITES FIGHT: One thing we didn’t mention after Monday night’s Highland Park Action Committee meeting — HPAC is urging a big turnout at next Wednesday’s (12/3) City Hall hearing about the newly proposed downtown site for a new jail — they had been advocating downtown siting, and feel their research on the issue has helped put this site on the list (which still includes one West Seattle site, Highland Park Way/West Marginal Way). They want to show strength in numbers to back the potential downtown site. Doors open 6 pm Wednesday (program starts 6:30), City Hall downtown.
BIKE SHOP MOVE COMPLETE: We first reported three months ago that Aaron’s Bicycle Repair was moving into the now-former Morgan Junction state liquor store space. The move is complete and owner Aaron Goss sent this link with photos taken as the renovation work proceeded (and was finished).
TWO NOTABLE NEW SEVEN-FIGURE REAL-ESTATE LISTINGS: The multiplex at 2810 Alki SW, just east of the Alki Urban Market/All the Best Pet Care/Cactus building, is up for sale, $1,850,000. Last year, there was a development proposal for this site to be the new home of Pegasus Pizza, which of course has since gone into the ex-Coyotes on Alki (etc.) space further east. Also up for sale, a 9-unit apartment building on Ferry SW in North Admiral, $1,250,000 (here’s that listing).
WEST SEATTLEITES FEATURED IN TV HEALTH REPORT: Dr. Tami Meraglia and Seattle Civic Dance Theatre‘s Kim Dinsmoor are in this story examining concerns about the body-care-product ingredients called parabens.
WSB is 24/7/365 (this year, 366) so we’ll still be here on Thanksgiving Day, but not planning to publish as many items as usual (unless of course major news happens). First up, the “final” coffee/supermarket hours list in the early am (the info’s already on the Holiday Happenings page).
TONIGHT: Highland Park Action Committee meets for the first time since the new list of potential misdemeanor-jail sites was announced last Thursday (WSB coverage here), with the Highland Park Way/West Marginal Way site still on the list (though now it’s one of six possible locations). But that’s far from all that HPAC is up to; read this WSB Forums post for reasons why you should join in. 7 pm, Highland Park Improvement Club building (11th/Holden; here’s a map).
TOMORROW: Seattle Public Schools‘ preliminary list of proposed school closures will go public. We know for sure that they will be presented and discussed in detail at a School Board workshop tomorrow night (6 pm, district HQ: here’s a map) – but we’re still awaiting final word on whether any sort of media briefing will be held to make the list public earlier in the day. The chances at least one West Seattle school will be on the list are considered to be fairly high for a variety of reasons including “excess capacity” and building age/condition (here’s our most recent coverage, including dates for “workshops” to talk about the closures). The last round of building closures less than 2 years ago led to the shutdown of Fairmount Park Elementary.
WEDNESDAY: The closures – whichever schools are on the list – are likely to be a major topic as West Seattle’s school-board rep Steve Sundquist has his monthly “coffee hour,” open for anyone to drop in and discuss district/education issues, 9 am at Coffee to a Tea with Sugar in The Junction. (Added later Monday: We have word he also plans an extra community availability at the Delridge Library from 3-5 pm Saturday 12/6.)
As for the holiday – you’ll find lots of new information and events added to our Holiday Happenings page — including info we’ve compiled so far about what happens on Thanksgiving, from free morning workouts to grocery store/coffee shop hours – that info will be complete by tomorrow but we’re adding it to the list as we get it.
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We’re in the briefing room next to the mayor’s office at City Hall downtown. A media briefing with the next steps on the jail-site search process is about to begin – and we’ve just been given a list of the six sites that are now under consideration, including sites that other cities partnering with Seattle have brought to the process. The Myers Way South site in southeastern West Seattle is OFF the list, but the Highland Park Way/West Marginal Way site (Google Street View imagery above; here’s a conventional map) is still ON the list, along with two other Seattle sites (King County Jail Annex at 5th/Jefferson, and 1600 W. Armory Way), one in Bellevue, one in Shoreline, and one in “unincorporated King County” (13225 NE 126th). More after the briefing. Next steps include a series of public forums next month — none of which is set for West Seattle, though there will be a “scoping” meeting at South Seattle Community College January 13th as part of the environmental-review process. Also, a new website is mentioned in pre-briefing material: www.necmunicipaljail.org (though it’s not up as of this writing – the jail-process communications team says it should be up within the hour) — and the one-sheet given to the media says “no decisions will be made until 2010.” 10:23 AM UPDATE: The public forums, it’s been explained, are for the newly identified sites – West Seattle and Interbay already had forums. The aforementioned website has just gone live, and it includes this link to the official news release from today’s briefing. Seattle spokesperson Catherine Cornwall, who has led this briefing, says the studies explaining why the Myers Way site is off the table and Marginal/Highland still on, are on the new website (we will search out direct links shortly). One of the big reasons why Myers is off the list, Cornwall added, is a concern about wetlands in the area. Here’s our video clip with her explanation:
ADDED 12:45 PM: Just in – a statement from King County Councilmember Dow Constantine.
“I’m very pleased with today’s announcement. The Myers Way site has been removed from the list, in part because of the environmental issues – issues which I also cited in my June 2 letter to Mayor Nickels. I wish the Highland Park Way site was not still on the list. Instead of a Seattle-only effort, this is now a regional process with King County and suburban cities having a seat at the table. The expanded site list now includes possible locations across the region. I am particularly happy to see promising sites on the Eastside, and in Downtown Seattle adjacent to our existing jail.”
ADDED THURSDAY NIGHT: The city’s jail-site communications team calls our attention to the Resources page on the new jail-info website, if you’re looking for various studies and reviews, including analysis of why the Myers Way site was taken off the list, while the Highland Park Way/Marginal Way site is still under consideration.
Both the city and county are in the throes of budget discussions and decisions, and the coming week is pivotal. For those interested in the question of whether the city will build a new jail for misdemeanor offenders — potentially, on one of two southeast West Seattle sites that are on the current “final four” list — there’s word of a budget-related comment opportunity, from Danina Garcia of Real Change, which has been working with jail opponents citywide:
On Monday the city council will have a series of budget meetings to discuss and vote on the “green sheets” before coming to a final budget decision. One of the things before the council is a budget proviso. This proviso would put a hold on 3 million of the 4.5 the mayor requested to move forward on the jail in 2009. This 3 million could not be spent until a panel, which would include people from outside the government, investigated and reported back on whether and how a new jail could be avoided completely, while increasing public safety and public order, if investments were made into preemptive social services, pre-arrest diversion programs and pre-booking programs. There will be a brief public comment period available before the start of business at 9:30 am Monday morning in City Council chambers.
The budget decisions are pretty much all going to be made on Monday; the final vote by the budget committee and then by the full council later in the week are procedural and largely formalities. So this is a prime opportunity to put a stop on expenditures that we don’t need and that will damage neighborhoods and lives.
If you can’t attend the council meeting, there are multiple ways to comment on this issue (or any other) – you’ll find all the info and links you need, by going to the City Council‘s main webpage.
(sign on kiosk in South Delridge Triangle area)
Dorsol Plants, chair of the Highland Park Action Committee — which not only has led the fight against two proposed city-jail sites in HP, but also is involved in a citywide effort to make the case that a new jail’s not needed at all — forwards word of a strategy session tomorrow, and anyone interested is invited: It’s being led by Real Change, and the invitation notes that RC “continues to organize around the principles that a new jail is an expensive, unnecessary, counterproductive and inhumane investment for Seattle to make. The budget process is ending. The next step being considered for this campaign is the possibility of launching an initiative against the jail to go on the ballot next November.” That’s part of the strategy that will be discussed 5:30-7:30 pm tomorrow (Monday 11/10) in Hall 6 of the Seattle Labor Temple in Belltown (2800 1st Ave.; here’s a map). The invite adds: “This will be a time for leaders from the service providers, advocacy groups, and neighborhood organizations opposed to or concerned by a new jail to come together and strategize.”
Big week for the Highland Park Action Committee – it’s sponsoring Highland Park Neighborhood Halloween on Friday night, with the Highland Park Improvement Club building as headquarters for family-geared fun. But first, tonight it was the regular monthly meeting, including a briefing on recognizing domestic violence and helping its victims, and the last-minute arrival of HPAC’s chair, fresh out of the City Council‘s budget hearing, with news about the ongoing fight against the potential construction of a city jail in West Seattle — read on for details: Click to read the rest of Highland Park Action Committee recap: Halloween; jail; “DV 101″…
The news from tonight’s Pigeon Point Neighborhood Council meeting wasn’t just about/for Pigeon Point. For starters – a plaintive reminder, especially apropos on a rainy night early enough in fall that the leaves are still not all off the trees – KEEP YOUR DRAINS CLEAR! You want them to look more like this:
Even if a clogged drain doesn’t cause trouble for your home or street – it can divert water somewhere that trouble WILL be caused. Meantime, other topics at PPNC tonight included a jail-site update, Delridge Community Center/skatepark-project updates, Cooper Elementary School update, library funding, and the reason why PPNC suddenly needs a new leader – all ahead: Click to read the rest of Pigeon Point Council: News you can use, wherever you live…
Before we get to the “Nickelsville” discussion at tonight’s Highland Park Action Committee meeting – which ended in a way you might not have expected – the rest of the agenda, including a “thank you” to a popular policeman:
That’s HPAC chair Dorsol Plants presenting a certificate of appreciation to Southwest Precinct Community Police Team officer Adonis Topacio. CPT officers (read about them here) are each assigned to proactively work a certain area of the Southwest Precinct’s region, and Officer Topacio’s includes Highland Park, so he’s often at HPAC meetings to present updates (like this one) and listen to concerns. Tonight, he offered some crime stats from the past month and a half in the Highland Park area: Four auto thefts, 13 car prowls, 15 burglaries. Overall, though, he said it had been a relatively quiet summer, but added that police are working to deal with the recent wave of gang graffiti (WSB report here). Also on the agenda tonight, two reps from the White Center Community Development Association with a briefing on what’s going on with their organization – we’ll be writing up those details for partner site White Center Now and will link back here when that’s up. No major updates on the jail-sites issue, meantime, as the process is idling somewhat while Seattle awaits its potential partners to offer more suggested sites; Dan Mullins is trying to organize more Duwamish-corridor business owners to get involved with opposition to the WS sites and said a meeting with at least two City Council members is planned later this fall. Plants warned tonight’s attendees that if HPAC participation (about 20 people were on hand tonight) dwindles out of complacency, it raises the chances unpopular projects like this will turn up in the area. But the latest development at the potential jail site closest to Highland Park, “Nickelsville,” drew what some might consider a surprising reaction – read on to see why: Click to read the rest of Highland Park tonight: Crime report; “Nickelsville” vote; more…
(Thursday night photo courtesy MagnoliaVoice.com)
MagnoliaVoice.com covered last night’s community meeting focusing on the Interbay location that’s among the city’s current “final four” in the search for where to build a jail for misdemeanor offenders; the other three sites, as you probably know, include two in southeastern West Seattle. According to our friends at Magnolia Voice, one of those sites, the one on Myers Way (map), was mentioned by City Councilmember Tim Burgess as one of the two most likely sites (along with the Interbay location, which he reportedly had singled out in July). We have a request for comment out to Councilmember Burgess (who chairs the council’s Public Safety Committee); meantime, you can read the MagnoliaVoice.com story about last night’s meeting here. SATURDAY MIDDAY UPDATE: Councilmember Burgess has posted a comment on the White Center Now version of this post saying that he was referring to the “First Avenue South Bridge” site, not the Myers Way South site. The city has not labeled any site as “First Avenue South Bridge” but the West Marginal Way/Highland Park Way SW site is certainly closest to the bridge; we have a note out to Councilmember Burgess to further clarify (he had not responded to the request for comment that we mentioned yesterday, except to ask for the Magnolia Voice link, which we promptly provided). Will let you know what we find out. UPDATED SUNDAY AFTERNOON: Councilmember Burgess’ reply:
Correct, the West Marginal site which is about 1.5 blocks off the southwest corner of the bridge. The site is partially owned by the city and partially owned by WSDOT which used it as a staging location when the bridge was repaired a few years back. I refer to it as the First Avenue South Bridge site because that helps people understand the geographic location better than the intersection.
As mentioned in our report on the last Highland Park Action Committee meeting, the West Seattle fight against two proposed WS city-jail sites is in a bit of a lull now, awaiting the next official stage of the city’s process. However, those closely watching what’s happening in the areas around all of the “final four” sites might be interested to know, there’s a public meeting tomorrow night in Magnolia, focused on the proposed Interbay site, with at least one city councilmember expected to attend.
Just back from the Highland Park Action Committee meeting, which for the first time in months spent less time on the jail-sites fight than on other matters – not because they’re letting up, but because, as HPAC chair Dorsol Plants noted, the city’s part of the process is in a sort of lull: Now that the city is exploring a partnership with north-/east-side cities to find a site for a regional jail (as first reported here in early July), instead of simply pursuing its own site, Seattle has to wait for those cities to “catch up” and propose potential misdemeanor-jail sites to add to the list (if you’re just catching up with this, in early May Seattle identified
(photo by Dina Johnson)
If you still think the primary election – next Tuesday, or maybe you’ve voted by mail already – is a snoozer, last night’s 34th District Democrats meeting would have cured you of that notion. With sometimes-raucous debate and questioning, our area’s largest political organization settled on some endorsements and budgeting decisions, looking ahead to both the primary and general elections. Five of West Seattle’s own elected officials were there, along with one of the most controversial statewide politicians running for re-election, and a city leader – read on to say what was said, decided, and revealed, including their recommendation on the primary’s most convoluted ballot measure: Click to read the rest of 34th District Democrats’ decisions, with days till the primary…
King County Sheriff Sue Rahr may think the county should have regional responsibility for housing jail inmates (WSB was there as she made that pronouncement earlier this summer), but King County Executive Ron Sims apparently doesn’t agree: He issued a statement the other day saying “… the county does not have the ability to fund construction and operation of jail capacity for cities.” The statement came with this report, Integrated Regional Jail Initiative Phase 1, which contains more information on future projections of jail population – why the county says the cities need to step in — among other things. Next jail-related meeting: Highland Park Action Committee, 8/25; archived WSB coverage of the jail-sites issue is archived here.
A followup in the controversy over the city’s search for the best place to build a misdemeanor-offender jail (with two West Seattle sites in the “final four”): The Highland Park Action Committee says it’s doing its own analysis of the city’s just-released report on whether a high-rise jail makes more sense than a low-rise jail, and will release its own report in 2 weeks. HPAC chair Dorsol Plants says, “HPAC’s members as well as its consultants in both the legal and civic field will be reviewing specifically the mathematical figures to insure they are both accurate and consistent.” WSB coverage of the jail-sites issue is archived (newest to oldest) here.
At last Saturday’s city-organized forum focused on the two southeastern West Seattle sites under consideration for a possible jail for Seattle’s misdemeanor offenders (WSB coverage here), city reps mentioned this study was about to be released – and now it’s out: Whether a high-rise jail would be more efficient and cost-effective than a low-rise jail (which is what the city has been pursuing, and why it’s been focused on 7-acre sites like the two in this area). We’ve just started reviewing it – but it appears the answer is “no” – a high-rise jail would cost more. Read the full study here. ADDED 1:05 PM: Here are the main points, excerpted from the report, followed by (added at 2:42 pm) a comment from the city on “what’s next”: Click to read the rest of West Seattle jail-sites fight: “Low rise vs. high rise” study out…
Follow-up to last Saturday’s city-organized public forum (WSB coverage here) about the two southeast West Seattle sites under consideration for a possible new misdemeanor-offender jail: The city just sent word it’s updated the jail-project website with feedback from that event (see it here). The city’s series of four public forums on the four proposed locations winds up tomorrow night at Seattle Center; that event is expected to focus mostly on the Interbay location, but city reps reiterated Saturday that participants are welcome to discuss any and all of the sites. The next government-organized public meeting after this will likely not be till fall, once an environmental assessment is out for these sites and any non-Seattle sites that the city’s new jail-project partners propose.
That’s Eddie Sherman, from the second generation of family ownership at Pacific Plumbing Supply, a regional business headquartered next to the West Marginal/Highland Park Way site that’s one of two potential West Seattle locations on the “final four” list for a public jail. Those two sites were the focus of a three-hour city-organized public forum at South Seattle Community College today. One major revelation from the city officials and consultants who were on hand: The process is slowing a bit now that Seattle is looking at teaming with north- and east-county cities on one semi-regional jail; that means the next round of hearings, on environmental impacts, won’t be till fall (there was originally talk of those hearings happening next month). The concerns expressed by jail opponents, meantime, continue to expand. Hear more of those concerns, and see what happens next, ahead: Click to read the rest of West Seattle jail-sites forum: Process slowing, concerns escalate…
9 am-noon tomorrow, at South Seattle Community College (in Brockey Center on the southeast side of the campus; map), it’s the third of four city-organized public forums about the “final four” potential locations for a city misdemeanor-offender jail – the second one about the two sites that are in southeast West Seattle (map), and the first one to be held IN West Seattle (the previous one was a month ago in South Park, and got pretty testy at times; WSB coverage with video, here). If you haven’t been following the issue all along, here are resources: WSB coverage archive (newest to oldest), Highland Park Action Committee‘s “NO-JAIL” site, city website’s “Municipal Jail” info section. (Which says, by the way, that doors open at 9 am for tomorrow’s forum, but nothing will actually happen till 9:30 am.)
In its two-months-so-far fight against two proposed city-jail sites in southeast West Seattle, the Highland Park Action Committee has seen some of the same city reps more than once, particularly Doug Carey, the main person on the hot seat at the contentious South Park forum June 26th (WSB coverage here). But tonight, the city sent in a different team to represent its side of the jail-site story: Fleets and Facilities deputy director Mary Pearson (photo left) and Office of Policy and Management senior policy adviser Catherine Cornwall. They took questions for about 40 minutes, after opening remarks. Toplines ahead: Click to read the rest of Highland Park Action Cmte. tonight: Different city jail-talk team…
They’re known more for washing (and styling) hair than for washing cars, but today the staff of Illusions Hair Design (WSB sponsor) became volunteer vehicle-scrubbers to raise money for Pencil Me In For Kids. When we dropped by the car-wash site outside the West Seattle Eagles‘ HQ in The Junction during the car wash’s final hour, they were already closing in on 30 cars. Speaking of volunteer power, we got an “after” photo from Saturday’s last round of portable-painting at Pathfinder K-8:
Those three are from the Highland Park Action Committee (from left, Jessie, Dina Johnson, Blair Johnson), which maintained a presence at White Center Jubilee Days all weekend as part of its campaign against the two potential city jail sites in southeast West Seattle. (Wondering about the costumes? Blair’s is obvious; Jessie and Dina were going with the WCJD “Pirates” theme.) HPAC’s next meeting is 7 pm tomorrow (Monday) night, Highland Park Improvement Club @ 11th/Holden, where they’ll plot strategy for Saturday morning’s city-organized jail-sites forum @ South Seattle Community College‘s Brockey Center (9 am-noon). Dina also sent photos from an entirely unrelated event – the Mediterranean Fantasy Festival this weekend at Hiawatha:
That’s Habib, dancing solo. Dina shared a few more Medfest photos, which (if you’re viewing this from the home page) are a click away: Click to read the rest of Yet more West Seattle (and vicinity) weekend scenes…
The forum this morning at North Seattle Community College was intended to focus on the proposed Aurora site, though the city had said discussion of any of the 4 sites (including the two in West Seattle) would be welcome. We’re expecting an update from Highland Park Action Committee reps in attendance, but in the meantime, the P-I has posted a story. 9:05 PM UPDATE: HPAC tells us members will be at Summer Fest in The Junction tomorrow gathering signatures, and they’ve sent a report from Ken Knoke, who attended today’s north-end forum: Click to read the rest of Jail-sites fight: City forum today in North Seattle…
As reported here this morning, Seattle and other “north and east King County cities” are now looking to team up on construction of a new misdemeanor-offender jail, because of the cost savings suggested by preliminary results of a new feasibility study. The Highland Park Action Committee, which has been leading the opposition to the two West Seattle sites on the city’s “final four” list of locations, has now weighed in with its reaction Click to read the rest of Jail-sites fight: Highland Park reaction to city announcement…
Just in from the city – Seattle and “other north and east King County cities” are now looking at building one jail for the misdemeanor offenders the county says it eventually won’t be able to handle, instead of each city (or smaller combinations thereof) building its own – based on the results of a new “feasibility study.” The question would remain, where would a semi-regional jail be built; at last month’s Delridge District Council meeting (WSB coverage here), City Councilmember Sally Clark said, â€œOther cities think a regional solution is great … as long as it (the jail) is in Seattle. Meantime, we’ll be pursuing reaction on this morning’s announcement; for starters, read on for the news release just sent by the city: Click to read the rest of Jail-sites fight: Seattle and other cities may join forces…
Highland Park Action Committee leaders continue their tour of West Seattle community groups, tonight visiting the Fauntleroy Community Association‘s monthly meeting. HPAC chair Dorsol Plants and vice chair Rory Denovan told the FCA about a letter that’s being drafted asking the Port of Seattle to support them in opposing the two potential city-jail sites in West Seattle, particularly the West Marginal Way/Highland Park Way site; HPAC contends the site’s location near the Duwamish Waterway and its industrial area means a jail “has enormous potential to permanently impair efficient movement of freight” and would run counter to the port’s Seaport Shoreline Plan, which the HPAC draft letter says “calls for discouraging non-industrial uses in the industrially zoned area around Terminal 115.” Next scheduled event in the city’s jail-site-vetting process: A public forum at 9 am Saturday at North Seattle Community College, intended to focus on the Aurora site that’s on the “final four” location list (with the two West Seattle sites as well as a spot in Interbay), but open to anyone. All WSB coverage of the jail-sites fight, by the way, is archived here.
Latest in the process of deciding where the city might build a new jail for misdemeanor offenders – with “final four” potential sites including two in southeastern West Seattle: City Councilmember Sally Clark made this point while speaking to the Delridge District Council last month (WSB coverage here) – the city contends that even if the county extends its jail-space agreement with Seattle and other cities – as the County Council wants to do — that doesn’t stop the city’s jail-planning process. Here’s the news release just issued by the city, in which officials explain why: (ADDED 5:02 PM – following the city news release, we’ve added the one the county just sent, which notes toward the end that the county is currently below once-projected jail population) Click to read the rest of Jail-sites fight: City says county extension only partly helps…
Six days after the first city-organized public meeting about the two proposed misdemeanor-jail sites in West Seattle (photo above; complete WSB coverage here), the city sends word of two online updates: “written feedback” and video from the meeting, posted here, and what’s described as “a document describing the public forum format,” posted here (the format itself generated some controversy and complaints during last week’s meeting). The next scheduled city-organized meeting is July 12 at North Seattle Community College and is intended to focus on the Aurora site; WSB coverage of the jail-sites fight, stretching back to first word of the “final four” location list including the two WS sites, is archived here.
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