Meet your neighhhhh-bors @ SPD Mounted Patrol open house

September 18, 2014 at 2:16 pm | In Highland Park, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | No Comments

(WSB photo from Delridge Day, 8/6/14)
On the heels – or hooves – of the Seattle Police Mounted Patrol Unit appearance at last month’s Delridge Day, here’s your next chance to see the unit’s horses and humans: This Saturday, it’s the second annual open house at their West Seattle home base. We’re giving you an extra nudge because Sgt. Jim Scott says they really want to make sure you know about the chance to come visit them. The Mounted Patrol is based alongside Westcrest Park in Highland Park (9000 8th SW – directions here); the open house runs noon-5 pm and is hosted by the nonprofit Seattle Police Foundation, whose announcement mentions riding demonstrations at 1 and 4 pm, plus free hot dogs.

Getting your postal mail in the evening in West Seattle lately? Here’s why

September 18, 2014 at 11:56 am | In West Seattle news, WS miscellaneous | 20 Comments

(WSB photo: Westwood Village post office)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Last night, our U.S. Postal Service mail arrived at 6:30 pm. A few nights earlier, it arrived after 8 pm. Several WSB readers have e-mailed mentioning the same thing, and wondering why they’re getting deliveries so much later than before. Today, we have the answer. Our inquiry to the regional media-relations rep was referred to a USPS supervisor who’s been working out of the Junction Post Office branch, Janet Doyle, who had all the answers, plus a few datapoints we hadn’t heard before:

Click to read the rest of Getting your postal mail in the evening in West Seattle lately? Here’s why…

Six possibilities for the rest of your West Seattle Thursday

September 18, 2014 at 10:33 am | In West Seattle news, WS miscellaneous | No Comments

(River otter near Jack Block Park – yes, ours are ‘river’ otters, even in salt water! Photo by Mark Wangerin)
We’re diving right into Thursday! First, please remember, what we spotlight on these daily lineups is only part of what’s on the calendar for any given day/night, and you can always browse ahead at (or click the CALENDAR tab on any WSB page):

FIREFIGHTERS ASK YOU TO HELP ‘FILL THE BOOT’: 1-6 pm today and tomorrow, West Seattle firefighters will be part of the annual fundraiser for MDA. Our preview includes the locations where you’re likely to see them.

‘HEALTH AND HARVEST’ AT THE COMMUNITY ORCHARD: This weekly session at the Community Orchard of West Seattle – ever been there? – is part work party, part tour, part Q/A; details are in our calendar listing. 5-7 pm, north end of the SSC campus on Puget Ridge. (6000 16th SW)

ARBOR HEIGHTS PTA MEETING/BACK-TO-SCHOOL BARBECUE: 6 pm, back-to-school barbecue, followed by the first PTA meeting of the year at 7 pm, all at Arbor Heights Elementary‘s interim location at the Boren Building. (5950 Delridge Way SW)

ALKI COMMUNITY COUNCIL: 7 pm at Alki UCC, with topics including potential development in the purview of the city’s Shoreline Master Plan and feedback on the Southwest Precinct’s proposed neighborhood-policing plan for the Alki area. (62nd/Hinds)

UNPLUGGED! Musicians and singers welcome for the monthly non-amplified open-microphone session hosted by the Seattle Classic Guitar Society at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 7 pm. (5612 California SW)

‘THE MOUNTAINTOP’: Second week of performances at ArtsWest (WSB sponsor) for the Northwest premiere of award-winning “The Mountaintop,” which re-imagines the last night in the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (4711 California SW)

EVERYTHING ELSE … is on the calendar!

West Seattle development: Key approvals for 18-house subdivision proposed at 2646 SW Holden

September 18, 2014 at 9:43 am | In Development, West Seattle housing, West Seattle news | 7 Comments

(WSB photo from January 2014)
From today’s city Land Use Information Bulletin: Key approvals are in for the 18-house subdivision proposed for that 73,000-square-foot site at 2646 SW Holden (map), which stretches to a smaller amount of frontage on SW Webster, all just west of the Navos mental-health facility.

We reported on the proposal at the end of last year, when it was reactivated in the city site after being dormant for some time, following “streamlined design review” approval. Today, the land-use-permit decision has been published (read it here). The decision details why the city believes the development would not substantially disturb the “steep slope” area on the site, though it acknowledges the development will result in “increased surface water runoff due to greater site coverage by impervious surfaces” and “loss of plant and animal habitat.” . Each three-story house would have a two-car garage; part of the site is zoned single-family, part is zoned low rise. While the site was up for sale when we last reported on this proposal, county property records show it hasn’t changed hands since becoming the property of Madrona Glen LLC two years ago. More than 30 of the trees on the site would be removed under the 18-house plan, 10 of them classified by the city as “exceptional.” Today’s publication of the approval opens a two-week period for potential appeals (that process is explained here).

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Thursday watch; transportation news notes

September 18, 2014 at 6:03 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 8 Comments

(WS bridge and Highway 99 views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
Thursday’s commute is on. We start with notes:

WATCH OUT FOR TRUCKS: As reported here last night, the county says excavation will start today at the sewer-overflow-control project across from Lowman Beach, and for several months, that means up to 55 truck trips a day on two stretches of road.

ROAD WORK: If everything is according to SDOT schedule, East Marginal Way paving north of the bridge continues today, and Highway 99 lane closures continue overnight tonight.

TRANSPORTATION NEWS NOTES: If you missed our coverage of Metro’s newest budget outlook – projecting fewer cuts in the long run – see it hereWashington State Ferries sends the reminder that its fall schedule takes effect Sunday.

9:04 AM UPDATE: Thanks to Don Brubeck from West Seattle Bike Connections for this photo of the work on East Marginal:

Don says, “Here is a shot of the paving work in progress on East Marginal Way South, north of South Hanford St. Crews are removing the curving RR tracks and ties. This is another good step by SDOT for safety for bike riders – the curving cracks caused by the buried tracks are a hazard. It should help the paving last longer, too. Maybe until a real roadbed reconstruction is done to actually hold up to heavy truck traffic on the poor fill soils.”

Followup: New court action in West Seattle foreclosure fight

September 18, 2014 at 3:20 am | In West Seattle housing, West Seattle news | No Comments

Today marks one month since the last public event related to the foreclosure/eviction fight involving Jean and Byron Barton and the Morgan Junction home his family owned for decades. August 18th was the day Jean Barton joined in a protest against King County Sheriff John Urquhart, days after its detectives removed her and her family from the house, saying they were being arrested for trespassing. That was four weeks after they had been formally evicted amid a crowd of demonstrators, with Byron Barton carried away on a stretcher.

While the protests and press conferences have faded away, the Bartons’ lawsuit continues, and we have a followup. Making a periodic check of the online files in the case Wednesday, we noticed the Bartons’ lawyer had filed a motion for default judgment against the entities they’re suing, JP Morgan Chase, Quality Loan Service of Washington, and First American Title:

At the heart of the motion: The Bartons’ lawyer Jill Smith pointed out that while the lawsuit was filed in early May, four months had passed and none of the respondents had filed a response. Chase and QLS acknowledged being served, but hadn’t filed responses; FAT hadn’t even acknowledged being served. A deadline was set, and Chase finally filed this response:

The other two respondents did not. We checked with Smith via e-mail on Wednesday, and she replied that they “are awaiting the judge’s signature on the Order for Default Judgment against Quality Loan Service Corp. of Washington and First American Title. JP Morgan Chase filed a woefully inadequate Answer to the Complaint last week, but nevertheless, we will not likely be able to obtain default against Chase.” (This court action does not involve the company that bought the house at a foreclosure auction in April; its “unlawful detainer” eviction action against the Bartons, however, remains under appeal.)

We asked Smith about the Bartons’ housing status, and she replied, “Mr. Barton is still in the facility in Columbia City and Mrs. Barton and her sons made other arrangements after the eviction for their well-being. They are all still seeking long-term housing that will allow them to all live together again.”

Citywide crime’s up, neighborhood stats still in the works, as Seattle Police work on neighborhood ‘micropolicing’ plans

September 17, 2014 at 9:17 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 4 Comments

When Mayor Murray previewed his public-safety budget last Friday, our coverage noted his mention of “more than 100 micropolicing plans” in progress. Tonight, Seattle Police mentioned those plans in the context of the newest crime statistics.

The precinct-by-precinct crime-stats breakouts for May, June, July, and August aren’t out yet, but the citywide numbers are, and SPD Blotter reports they show an overall increase, led by a 44 percent citywide jump in auto theft. The SPD Blotter update also says: “The Department is using the crime data as part of a new program it’s launched, called SeaStat, that’s aimed at quickly addressing crime hotspots based on analysis of crime data and community reports of incidents.” In addition to computer analysis, “SeaStat also takes community views into account through regular meetings where the department can hear directly from residents if its efforts are working. The community feedback, and analysis of crime data, will be used to adjust the precinct community policing plans now under development.”

In West Seattle, local precinct leadership has been consulting neighborhood groups while drafting those plans. Just two examples: The North Delridge Neighborhood Council is looking for feedback from its community on the latest revision of a proposed North Delridge plan, linked from the NDNC website; and if you are in the Alki/Beach Drive area, the Alki Community Council is looking for feedback on that area’s draft plan when it resumes monthly meetings tomorrow night (Thursday 9/18, 7 pm, Alki UCC parlor, 6112 SW Hinds).

Meantime, we’re awaiting the precinct-specific (West Seattle and South Park comprise the Southwest Precinct) crime-data updates and could hear tomorrow (per our Twitter exchange with SPD, below) when that’ll be available:

You can see the citywide updates on this page (which, at the bottom, links precinct-by-precinct data through April).

West Seattle development: September 2014, month of the backhoe

September 17, 2014 at 7:20 pm | In Development, West Seattle news | 9 Comments

Signs of upcoming demolition at another future West Seattle construction site: Thanks to Eddie for the tip that the telltale fence is up around 4400 SW Alaska, an 8-unit apartment building scheduled to make way for a building with 5 stories, 36 apartments, 2 live/work-units, and 5 offstreet-parking spaces. It received key city approvals back in July, after passing Design Review in February. It’s about a block south of a similar-size building for which construction is starting, with site demolition just last week, 4535 44th SW.

Up to 55 trucks a day, as Murray CSO storage-tank digging begins across from Lowman Beach

September 17, 2014 at 5:05 pm | In Environment, West Seattle news | 26 Comments

(PHOTO ADDED THURSDAY AFTERNOON, with digging & trucking under way)
Just got word that tomorrow is the start of the next major phase of the Murray Combined Sewer Overflow control project – digging the hole for the million-gallon tank across from Lowman Beach:

Now that the contractor has completed secant pile installation, crews will begin digging to clear space for the underground storage tank tomorrow, September 18, 2014. Excavation will be complete by early 2015. Crews will dig out an area about 80 feet deep and 100 feet wide. All of the material removed will be trucked off site. These activities will bring as many as 55 trucks per day to the project site to load and haul off material. Trucks will access the project site from 48th Avenue SW or Lincoln Park Way SW. Please be aware of traffic as trucks move in and out of the site.

Here’s the haul route:

(Click map for full-size, PDF version of map)
More info is on the county’s site for the project; if you have questions or concerns, there’s a 24-hour hotline at 206-205-9186.

P.S. As discussed in comments about an hour after we first published this, when the county announced these routes in February, they were labeled “primary” and “secondary” (see the map in the story we published back then). Now they are labeled entry/exit with a warning that either route might be used at any time by any truck, depending on a variety of conditions.

(added) Following further discussion – here’s the PDF including the county’s full announcement, also embedded below:

What you can see and do this Friday/Saturday at WestFest 2014

September 17, 2014 at 4:16 pm | In West Seattle festivals, West Seattle news | 3 Comments

West Seattle’s next festival is two days away – Holy Rosary School‘s WestFest, 6-10 pm Friday and 10 am-10 pm Saturday. Along with information you can browse on the festival website, organizers have announced the highlights and entertainment schedule:


Bring your preschoolers to Toddler Time at WestFest! Holy Rosary is bringing the Carnival of Community to our younger West Seattle residents this year! From 10 am-12 pm on Saturday, they can enjoy a discount on 3 rides exclusively for them! We are also featuring a clown who will twist up creative balloon animals, PLUS we have an interactive dance session from the fabulous instructors of Sundancers! After all that fun, they can take in a magic show at noon. There are a lot of food options to add fuel to all this activity so stick around for lunch and treats too!

· We brought the book sale back, so bring your family and friends to WestFest to browse! You can “Fill A Bag For $1 Or A Donation” during the last 2 hours of the sale (4p-6p) on Saturday.

· We are proud to announce our 2014 Stage Lineup:

Click to read the rest of What you can see and do this Friday/Saturday at WestFest 2014…

Followup: New kindergarten play area in place at Schmitz Park Elementary, following summertime fire

September 17, 2014 at 2:32 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 1 Comment

(WSB photo, taken early this afternoon)
That bright new play equipment at Schmitz Park Elementary was ready for kindergarteners’ morning recess today, two and a half months after the early-morning fire that left the previous playset unusable. Exactly what caused the June 26th fire has never been pinpointed. Nobody was hurt, but the fire destroyed $50,000 worth of equipment that was only a year old. SPES principal Gerrit Kischner tells WSB, “The District moved very quickly to find the funds necessary for purchasing the replacement in time make the order (very impressive in light that a five-week lead time was necessary from the manufacturer to land the material before school started).”

Six highlights for the rest of your West Seattle Wednesday

September 17, 2014 at 1:55 pm | In West Seattle news, WS miscellaneous | 5 Comments

Six things to mention before the day gets much further along:

ARTHRITIS FUNDRAISER @ MASSAGE ENVY: Today’s the biggest day of Massage Envy (WSB sponsor) multi-week fundraiser for the Arthritis Foundation – $10 from any hour-long massage or facial goes to the AF. Details in our calendar listing. (2513 SW Trenton)

DOGS-IN-THE-POOL WEEK CONTINUES: Just ask Willis (whose person texted us the photo below). It’s fun!

5-7 pm at Arbor Heights Swim and Tennis Club, the third of six sessions for dogs only/no people, except, you do have to stay at the pool while your pup’s in it. Fundraiser for the club’s teams. Details in our calendar listing. (11003 31st SW)

NUTRITION NIGHT GROUP RUN: Nutrition info & Power Bar samples before a group run from West Seattle Runner (WSB sponsor), 6:30 pm. (California/Charlestown)

DELRIDGE DISTRICT COUNCIL HOSTS PORT, CITY COUNCIL, SDOT: Port Commissioner Courtney Gregoire, City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, and newly confirmed SDOT director Scott Kubly are the guests – in that order, per the agenda – at tonight’s Delridge Neighborhoods District Council, 7 pm at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center. Got a question? Bring it! (4408 Delridge Way SW)

WORDSWEST LITERARY SERIES DEBUTS: 7 pm at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), a new writer-organized, writer-spotlighting series debuts, WordsWest (as previewed here) – more info in our calendar listing. (5612 California SW)

NIGHTLIFE: Theater, comedy, bingo, karaoke, trivia, open microphone, all in tonight’s listings!

West Seattle Crime Watch: Burglar(s) take heirloom (and more); motorcycle stolen

September 17, 2014 at 12:10 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news | 3 Comments

Two West Seattle Crime Watch reader reports. First, a burglary report from last night, at a home near 51st SW and Admiral Way. The report was forwarded on behalf of the burglary victim’s family:

Mom’s laptop and my DSLR camera and lenses are gone, they took some alcohol, looked for pills, smashed the sliding glass door. Found out they took an antique jewelry/music box from mom’s childhood that had sentimental value.

Also, Eric reports his motorcycle has been stolen:

Just wanted to advise WS residents that a black Harley Davidson motorcycle was stolen (license plate 8C4988, with whitewalls and black handlebars) from Link Apartments on 38th and Alaska. Sometime between Sept 6th and Sept 16th from the “secure” garage. If anyone sees it around, please call police.

Next crime-prevention-related meeting in West Seattle is the WS Block Watch Captains’ Network, Tuesday (September 23rd), 6:30 pm at the Southwest Precinct, including updates from SPD. You don’t have to be a BW captain to attend – all welcome.

As-it-happened coverage: Metro Transit budget briefing downtown; cuts beyond next spring now pushed back to 2016

September 17, 2014 at 10:02 am | In Transportation, West Seattle news | 18 Comments

(WSB photo of Dively & Desmond, substituted for originally posted Twitter image)
10:02 AM: We’re at King County’s King Street Center, where Metro Transit general manager Kevin Desmond and the county’s budget boss Dwight Dively are briefing the media on what County Executive Dow Constantine will propose for Metro in his budget, due out next Monday. Since Metro is of special interest to our transportation-challenged peninsula, we’re here to report the toplines live.

First, from the news release handed out:

*Beyond the September 2014 (no West Seattle routes involved) and February 2015 (that plan announced two weeks ago includes, for West Seattle, deleting Route 22 and changing the 21, 116X, and 125) cuts, 80,000 hours in cuts (half the March number) are suggested for March 2016 – so much in play, they aren’t saying which routes that might affect.

Dively says they’re creating budget efficiencies through health-care costs, saving $3 million for transit over the next two years. Also, diesel prices have gone down. Sales tax, though, he describes as “volatile” – and the forecast they’re using now came out in August, and isn’t much different than what they had in March.

Desmond is recapping some of the steps Metro has taken in recent years and insisting “We have not stopped for a second trying to find ways to keep service on the road, to stretch our dollars further, whether from our expense budget … or capital budget … We don’t want to cut service. Our mission is to transport people every single day …”

Here’s what he says has changed, leading to savings that in turn mean fewer cuts:

*Buying 40 fewer buses, saving $40 million in capital budget
*Negotiated better prices on buses they are buying, saving $50 million (also capital program)
*Job injuries/worker comp claims/lawsuit claims – saving $13 million
*Vehicle maintenance “process improvement” – $2 million
*Reducing service means fewer drivers, $3 million less spending, 335 jobs lost at Metro over next 2 years
*Fuel conversion saving $1 million
*Paratransit costs, “most expensive product that Metro operates” (Access service), $7 million savings
*Full list in news release

So bottom line, 400,000 service hours to be cut, instead of once-forecast 550,000. But Desmond says they know that’ll still be painful. First 151,000 hours kick in September 21st.

10:15 AM: Now he gets to the Seattle transit-money ballot measure in November. “If the Seattle measure passes, the February service changes will automatically be deferred until June 2015 to allow Metro and the city time to enter into service contracts – all of the cuts would be deferred, not just the Seattle cuts.” He says they still look forward to adding service sometime. August ridership figures show a 3 percent increase, and, says Desmond: “At the same time we are reducing the system, what we really should be doing is growing.” He acknowledges overcrowded buses around the county, unreliable buses because of traffic – “We need to solve these problems and this budget doesn’t allow us to do that.” He says the system is 900,000 hours short of what might help fix that.

Now Q/A – what about the transit workers who rejected wage freezes, how does that figure into this? Desmond says the situation now goes to binding arbitration. If the transit workers had accepted the freezes, that would have saved $8 million – equal to 80,000 hours of service cuts. “We do not expect to get an arbitration decision until the second quarter of next year,” Desmond said. Otherwise, the budget currently incorporates the “basic cost-of-living increase” for those and other workers.

Next question, “How do you respond to those who say you’re using scare tactics to get people to approve a tax increase?” Desmond points to the fact “we’ve been talking about this for six years. … We’ve not been hiding this from anybody through that entire six-year period.” (Editor’s note: Here’s a 2008 mention on WSB.) He talks about committees and task forces that have been going through the system and how it works, “totally out in the open” over those years. “We were the only transit system in this state in 2011 … that convinced the state Legislature to give us another tool to keep service on the road.” Though they’ve figured out how to save 150,000 hours in cuts, he says 400,000 hours worth are still painful, and “six years of kicking the can down the road in terms of stopgap measures and one-time savings … we’ve got to put a stop to that. … We don’t want to continue to lurch back and forth with the public.” He says they’re still at risk of having to keep cutting if the economy has a downturn at this point.

Desmond says they’re hoping that they can get to the point where they can “look at making some improvements” in Seattle lines that are currently overcrowded. Should downtown businesses chip in with head taxes or in other ways? Desmond says he doesn’t want to “get into that” but that there are already ways that the business community is helping, including pre-paid fare products. Dively also points out that head taxes are a city-only tool – not available to counties, in our state – and it’s up to the city to figure out how it wants to raise money. Desmond, then, turns back a question meant to elicit a “why should Seattle voters approve the ballot measure?” answer. He just mentions that the area is growing and transit should be growing, not contracting.

10:29 AM: Desmond mentions SDOT’s new director Scott Kubly, saying that Kubly is “really excited” about finding ways to improve the right of way for buses so they don’t get stuck in traffic and therefore delayed as often.

We ask about fare increases – Desmond points out the one scheduled for March of next year, and beyond that, he says that it would likely be a dialogue with the county council since the executive is not proposing another fare increase before 2018. He mentions the oft-cited stat that Metro’s basic fare will have doubled since 2008, when next year’s increase kicks in (at the same time a new low-income fare takes effect). “We always have to be thinking hard and struggling to find the right pricepoint …” appealing to “discretionary” riders as well as those who have no alternative.

10:35 AM: Briefing over – full complement of regional media was here too. If you want to read the full news release, it’s here.

West Seattle Community Orchestras want you! Any age, any skill level – it’s signup time

September 17, 2014 at 9:40 am | In West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | No Comments

Make music! The West Seattle Community Orchestras are almost ready for this year’s season – just a few weeks away – and are sharing this announcement to let you know what’s new this year, as well as what’s continuing, so you (or another musician in your household!) can sign up:

Develop your musical skills as West Seattle Community Orchestras expands your opportunities for the fall session. There is a group for just about everyone!

► NEW! Wind Symphony (concert band) for students and adults, 6+ years’ experience on woodwinds, brass, and percussion. Particularly in demand for this new group are trumpets, baritones, trombones, tubas, and saxophones. The group will be playing classic wind band/concert band favorites including Liberty Bell March, Flourish for Wind Band, and Overture for Winds.

► NEW! Student Beginning Strings Ensemble for students (3rd -12th) in first year of school participation or private lessons. This ensemble will enhance the learning students are already receiving in a fun, encouraging atmosphere.

And there’s more: Click to read the rest of West Seattle Community Orchestras want you! Any age, any skill level – it’s signup time…

Congratulations! 70th wedding anniversary for West Seattleites Dorothy & Everett Wright

September 17, 2014 at 9:00 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 18 Comments

Congratulations to Dorothy and Everett Wright of West Seattle, who just celebrated a big anniversary. From their daughter Wendy Hobson:

Everett and Dorothy Wright celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary (August 19, 2014) with a party a few days later at their daughter’s home with family and friends.

They got married on their fourth “date,” after meeting in Chicago at Christmastime in 1943 when Dorothy went to stay with her sister. Dorothy’s oldest sister was married to Everett’s older brother. They went out to dinner – then Everett (who was in the Air Force in 1944) went back to Louisiana. They wrote to each other for 8 months. He came back to Chicago on leave, proposed, and they got married a few days later. They took the train to North Dakota and spent their honeymoon with her parents on the farm.

In 1956, they moved from Chicago to Seattle, following Dorothy’s sisters and their families. They had a 2.5 year old daughter and a 3-month-old son, no job, no house. Everett went out to look for a job and at his first stop, called Dorothy to say he was hired and that he was starting that day! A few weeks later, they purchased the home on Genesee Hill where they still live.

Everett retired from Sundstrand Corp in Redmond in 1983 and Dorothy retired from Sears in SODO in 1986.

Everett bought his first computer when he was 80, learning to surf the internet. At 85, he decided to learn to play the bass guitar (figuring that because it only had 4 strings, it would be easier) to keep his mind sharp. At almost 96, he is still curious about everything.

Dorothy joined the Y after she retired and has enjoyed 30+ years of water aerobics. She is a big Mariners fan.

They both enjoy going on the senior bus to the Tulalip and Muckelshoot Casinos monthly. They are the parents of Wendy (Michael) Hobson and Brad (Colette) Wright, and grandparents of Aaron & Shawn Hobson and Carson Wright.

Milestone anniversary in YOUR family? Let us know!

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Wednesday on the move

September 17, 2014 at 7:09 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | No Comments

(WS bridge and Highway 99 views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
Another quiet start to the commute. Rainy weather is forecast tonight, though, so tomorrow might be a little trickier.

ROAD WORK: Today is the first of two days scheduled for East Marginal Way paving north of the bridge. … We just double-confirmed with WSDOT that tonight’s Highway 99 closure is CANCELED, though as of this writing it’s still on their website. (Thanks to Metro for noting the cancellation in a general text alert yesterday.)

TRANSPORTATION NEWS NOTES: 10 am today, Metro/county officials plan a media briefing about what’ll be in County Executive Dow Constantine‘s budget proposal next week regarding transit. … 7 pm tonight, the monthly Delridge District Council meeting at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center includes three transportation-related guests – Port Commissioner Courtney Gregoire, City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, newly confirmed SDOT director Scott Kubly.

West Seattle scenes: School-demolition crews move to main buildings at Genesee Hill, Arbor Heights

September 16, 2014 at 10:50 pm | In Arbor Heights, Genesee Hill, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 9 Comments

(UPDATED Wednesday morning with two more views of Arbor Heights)

ORIGINAL REPORT, 10:50 PM TUESDAY: If you’ve been meaning to go take a look at what’s left of the former Genesee Hill and/or Arbor Heights elementary schools before they’re completely demolished, you’re running out of time. As of this afternoon, main-building teardown is under way at both sites – above, our photo from GH; below, Tim Eannarino shared the photo from AH this morning:

(Also, a few closeup views caught Robin Adams‘ eye.) The new schools to be built on these sites are both scheduled to open in 2016.

ADDED 9:04 AM WEDNESDAY: Thanks to Mike for sharing these next two Arbor Heights photos:

We checked again with the school district and they still don’t expect to settle on the new AHES’s final size until next spring (they could build it for 500 students or 650; the current school, temporarily housed at the Boren Building, is adding a third kindergarten class, so growth is continuing).

Followup: 2 PARKing Day parklets for West Seattle this year

September 16, 2014 at 7:54 pm | In West Seattle news | 10 Comments

After reporting on Monday that West Seattle Bike Connections is hosting a “parklet” in The Junction on PARKing Day this Friday (September 19th), we asked about anyone else planning one – and heard from Wyatt’s Jewelers (WSB sponsor), which hosted one alongside its Westwood Village storefront last year and is doing it again. Kathy Dunn from WSBC also points out that the citywide map is now available. Her group’s Junction parklet will be in front of Husky Deli and Mashiko, “with a bicycle/ice cream-oriented theme” – where the temporary “no parking” signs are up, as of just before we took the photo atop this update. PARKing Day hours on Friday are 9 am-3 pm.

Video: Seattle City Council committee OK’s rules for ‘microhousing’ apartments

September 16, 2014 at 4:21 pm | In Development, West Seattle housing, West Seattle news | 32 Comments

(Added Wednesday morning: Seattle Channel video of this meeting in its entirety)
New city rules for “microhousing” apartments (backstory here) have just passed the City Council’s Planning, Land Use, and Sustainability Committee. We came in on the meeting broadcast late, but in time to hear the passage of two amendments – one requiring two sinks per unit (food-prep and bathroom areas), one that goes beyond microhousing, requiring a city study of residential-area parking policies, with recommendations to be presented next spring. Seven amendments in all were proposed – they’re all linked from the agenda for the meeting that just concluded. The full council will vote on October 6th. If the new rules pass, they won’t affect projects already in the pipeline, including at least two on the drawing board here in West Seattle, where two “microhousing” buildings are now open – both under the Footprint brand – one on Delridge, one on Avalon.

First chapter in West Seattle’s newest literary series: WordsWest debuts tomorrow

September 16, 2014 at 2:44 pm | In West Seattle books, West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | 1 Comment

Tomorrow opens the book on the first chapter of West Seattle’s newest literary series – WordsWest.

7 pm Wednesday (September 17th) at C & P Coffee Company (5612 California SW; WSB sponsor), you’re invited to “An Evening with Karen Finneyfrock and Elissa Washuta.” The WordsWest curators – West Seattle writers Katy E. Ellis, Susan Rich, and Harold Taw – describe the series as “a monthly invitation to hear world-class writers from near and far, and to join and nurture the West Seattle literary community.” They plan to present events every third Wednesday “that range from readings by published local and national authors, to craft discussions and guided writing explorations for every experience level.” The events will include a local-business rep reading a favorite poem – starting with Pegasus Book Exchange. Read about Wednesday’s featured writers on the WordsWest website.

About that big police response on Puget Ridge: Two, described as evicted tenants, arrested

September 16, 2014 at 1:03 pm | In Crime, Puget Ridge, West Seattle news | 4 Comments

A big police response on Puget Ridge late last night had a lot of people wondering what was going on; we’ve just obtained the police report with details. A man and woman were arrested for investigation of burglary at a house in the 5200 block of 18th SW (map) where, the report says, they used to live. The landlord’s son told police the former tenants were evicted two weeks ago and did not have permission to be in the house.

Police were called around 11 pm when the landlord found out the in-house security system had detected intruders. Its live video feed was obstructed (later, police discovered the camera on the floor), but two voices were heard. Both alleged intruders were inside when police arrived and came out when ordered to. They told police they had gone back into the house – which they claimed was unlocked – looking for mail they were expecting, though, when asked by an officer where the mail should have been, they said it would have been in the mailbox across the street from the house. Meantime, police discovered one of the suspects was the subject of two arrest warrants, for theft and assault, and they found drug paraphernalia in the house and in possession of one suspect, so the man and woman were arrested and booked into the King County Jail.

Video: ‘Heavy rescue’ for industrial injury on West Marginal Way

September 16, 2014 at 11:25 am | In West Seattle news, WS breaking news | 1 Comment

(Above, building at Fog-Tite where accident happened)
11:25 AM: Seattle firefighters are at another “heavy rescue” call, this time in the 4800 block of West Marginal Way (map). SFD says it involves “man who has his arm trapped in cement mixer,” and they’ve extricated the patient. We hear from Cathy that traffic is getting by both ways; the emergency equipment is on the southbound side, so take care if you’ll be using W. Marginal in that area any time soon.

12:06 PM: Our crew reports that a 34-year-old man got his arm stuck in a cement-mixer auger; SFD used heavy-rescue tools to free him, over the course of about 15 minutes, and he was taken to Harborview Medical Center. SFD units have now left the scene; we got a quick briefing there from spokesperson Kyle Moore, and will add video when it’s uploaded. the video is above.

You can help! Here’s where West Seattle firefighters will ask you to help ‘Fill the Boot’ for MDA this Thursday and Friday

September 16, 2014 at 11:17 am | In Health, How to help, West Seattle news | No Comments

(WSB photo from 2011 “Fill the Boot,” taken in Admiral District)
This year’s edition of the International Association of Fire Fighters “Fill the Boot” fundraising drive for the Muscular Dystrophy Association is coming up this Thursday and Friday, 1 pm-6 pm September 18-19, and we asked organizers where in West Seattle you’ll see firefighters joining in. Here’s the list (subject to change) compiled for us by Sandy Elfers of the MDA:

Station #11 – Westwood Village
Station #29 – California and Admiral
Station #32 – California and Alaska
Station #36 – Alki Beach and/or Avalon/Spokane
Station #37 – By the station, 35th/Holden

The IAFF and MDA have partnered for 60 years. Local IAFF members will be among 1,000 citywide participating in the fundraising drive this year.

Update: Car hits building’s gas meter in Highland Park; no one hurt

September 16, 2014 at 9:01 am | In Highland Park, West Seattle news, WS breaking news | No Comments

9:01 AM: Moving this over from our morning traffic watch: Seattle Fire is on the scene of a crash described as a car hitting a building in the 7900 block of 9th SW (map). Everyone got out of the car OK, SFD reports, but it hit the gas meter, so they’re calling in Puget Sound Energy.

9:04 AM: Our crew at the scene reports the aforementioned gas leak is very noticeable in the immediate area – so stay clear of there for now. No major traffic effects, though. This happened at an auto-repair shop at 9th/Kenyon.

9:22 AM: Replaced our original photo with a wider view showing the scene – the black car with the open doors is the one that hit the building, and it’s since been pulled out:

Also, PSE has shut off the gas, and the SFD crews will be pulling back too.

West Seattle Tuesday: ‘Fauntleroy Boulevard’ briefing at JuNO; Gatewood PTA; nightlife; more…

September 16, 2014 at 9:00 am | In West Seattle news, WS miscellaneous | 2 Comments

(Monday sunset photo by James Bratsanos)
With the clouds returning, we might not see much of a sunset tonight – so we’re sharing photos received after last night’s show! They’re interspersed with today/tonight highlights ahead from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

TODDLER STORY TIME: 10:30 am at West Seattle (Admiral) Branch Library, bring the 2- and 3-year-olds for stories, songs, and rhymes. Free. (2306 42nd SW)

(Monday sunset photo by Jeff Johnson)
‘DOG DAYS OF SUMMER’: Second of six days in which dogs are welcome to swim in the closed-to-humans-until-next-year Arbor Heights Swim and Tennis Club pool. It’s a fundraiser for youth at the club; details here. 5-7 pm today. (11003 31st SW)

CHAT WITH CHAS: The first City Council candidate actively campaigning for the new West Seattle/South Park district-elected seat, Chas Redmond, continues his open-format community conversations – all listed on his website – 5-7 pm at Westwood Village Starbucks. (9023 25th SW)

YMCA EXPANSION Q/A MEETING: Another chance to meet with reps from the West Seattle YMCA (WSB sponsor) to talk about announced its recently announced expansion plan – second of three Q/A meetings open to the community at large as well as members, 6-7 pm, at the Y’s “Studio 5.” (4518 Fauntleroy Way SW)

GATEWOOD ELEMENTARY PTA: 6:30 pm tonight in the Gatewood Elementary lunchroom, first PTA meeting of the year, including officer elections. (4320 SW Myrtle)

(Monday sunset photo by Lynn Hall)
FAUNTLEROY BOULEVARD, MORE @ JUNO: Junction Neighborhood Organization meets tonight, 6:30 pm at the Senior Center of West Seattle. Key agenda items from director René Commons:

We are excited to announce project leaders from the Fauntleroy Way SW Boulevard Project Team will be presenting the first half of the meeting. The second half of the meeting, we will have two Commissioners from the Seattle Design Commission informing us on walkshed technology and opportunities to improve our community.

Commissioners Luis Borrero and Jeanne Krikawa, Seattle Planning Commission – walkshed technology and applications in the Alaska Junction

Design Team Members Therese Casper and Mike Hendrix, Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) – brief of early design work for the Fauntleroy Way SW Boulevard Project, an improvement project along Fauntleroy Way SW between SW Alaska St. and 35th Ave. SW.

All welcome. (Oregon/California)

ALAUDA’S 5TH ANNIVERSARY SHOW: Five years of bellydancing, celebrated at this month’s showcase, 7 pm at Skylark. (3803 Delridge Way SW)

MORE NIGHTLIFE OPTIONS: Music, trivia, bingo, karaoke – see the listings on our calendar!


September 16, 2014 at 7:02 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | No Comments

(WS bridge and Highway 99 views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
All’s well so far on routes from/through West Seattle.

ROAD WORK: Nightly work on Highway 99 north of the West Seattle Bridge continues – tonight, lane closures in both directions, 9 pm-5 am, and the exit to 99 from the eastbound West Seattle Bridge will also be closed. … Tomorrow is the first of two days for East Marginal Way paving north of the bridge.

HAPPENING TONIGHT: While the official city “open house” meeting about the Fauntleroy Boulevard project is one week from tonight, if you have questions but can’t go, you can get a sneak preview at tonight’s Junction Neighborhood Organization meeting, with SDOT reps for the project on the agenda. 6:30 pm, Senior Center of West Seattle (Oregon/California).

7:54 AM: Kerry tweets that the bridge is “backed up to 35th.” Kerry’s later update: Traffic-enforcement officer’s in view at the offramp to 99.

8:53 AM: Heavy-rescue call in the 7900 block of 9th SW – we’re en route. SFD describes it as “car into a building with the smell of natural gas” and says everyone is out OK. (Note: Full coverage of the incident is here.)

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