West Seattle scene: Pencil Me In For Kids back-to-school party

September 3, 2015 at 12:10 am | In How to help, Rotary Club of West Seattle, West Seattle news | No Comments

It’s one of the most fun nights of (almost-)fall for Rotary Club of West Seattle members … the back-to-school sorting party for Pencil Me In For Kids, their signature charity distributing donated school supplies to local students. As Rotarians and friends gathered Wednesday night in a Westwood backyard, they knew that every local elementary has kids getting a boost from PMIFK (that was noted at this week’s Rotary meeting). Member or not, you can help too, through PMIFK – here’s how.

FOLLOWUP: Artist Troy Pillow chosen for Junction Plaza Park project

September 2, 2015 at 9:21 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle parks, WS culture/arts | 2 Comments

Another quick note from tonight’s Southwest District Council meeting: An artist has been chosen for the Junction Plaza Park project (42nd SW & SW Alaska). Susan Melrose from the West Seattle Junction Association told the SWDC that the decision had been made at a meeting earlier in the evening: The artist will be West Seattle resident Troy Pillow, whose public art you can see here. He also is the artist commissioned for The Whittaker (there’s some information on that plan in our report from last December’s city Design Commission meeting). The $25,000 budget for this project was part of the “public benefit” from what became the Spruce project (3922 SW Alaska). No specific design yet, Melrose said, but she says Pillow is “very collaborative.” Watch for updates.

TRAFFIC ALERT UPDATE: West Seattle Bridge ramp to NB 99 reopens after crash

September 2, 2015 at 8:36 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | No Comments

8:36 PM: A crash on the eastbound West Seattle Bridge has closed the ramp to NB Highway 99, according to SDOT. We’re hearing that no one is seriously injured, so the closure might not last too long.

9:23 PM UPDATE: SDOT says the crash is clear and the ramp is open again.

Signed up yet? Port’s rescheduled ‘West Seattle Working Waterfront’ tour coming up September 19th

September 2, 2015 at 7:55 pm | In Port of Seattle, West Seattle news | No Comments

From tonight’s Southwest District Council meeting: A reminder that the Port of Seattle‘s rescheduled “West Seattle Working Waterfront” tour is coming up on Saturday, September 19th, and registration is happening right now. It’s a round trip from Pier 66 on the downtown waterfront, aboard the Spirit of Seattle; free (validated) parking near the pier will be available if you need it. All ages are welcome and there will be a special program during the cruise for kids, as well as narration for all. The official description: “Get an up-close look at the Port of Seattle cargo facilities that generate 24,000 jobs in our community with an annual payroll of $2 billion.” Check-in will be at 9 am on tour day; the tour itself will take you out on the water 9:30-11:30 am. The Port (which is advertising on WSB to promote the tour) reminds you that space is limited and you can register for up to 4 tickets – “RSVP with the name for each guest attending and e-mail pos-reception@portseattle.org by September 15th. Questions? Call 206-787-3527.”

UPDATE: SW Barton reopening after substance found on Metro bus turned out NOT to be a ‘hazardous material’

September 2, 2015 at 4:42 pm | In West Seattle news, Westwood, WS breaking news | 10 Comments

(WSB photo. Note: This is NOT the bus on which the substance was found – that’s a few buses down)

4:42 PM: Eastbound Barton is closed right now at 30th SW because of a Seattle Fire response at the bus stop across from Westwood Village. According to the scanner, a “white powder” of some kind was found on a bus, which subsequently was evacuated, and they’re treating it as a possible hazmat situation until otherwise determined. We’ve just arrived at the scene to find out more.

4:48 PM UPDATE: This appears to be happening aboard a C-Line bus – not the one in our photo, a short ways east on Barton, which is now blocked both ways.

4:55 PM UPDATE: We’ve confirmed with SFD at the scene that no one has needed medical treatment. The suspicious substance was called in by the bus driver. Barton remains blocked off between 30th and 26th. (And yes, that is a TV helicopter that just arrived over the scene.)

5:09 PM UPDATE: Crews are suiting up in hazmat gear.

5:25 PM UPDATE: They subsequently went into the bus. We’re waiting to hear/see what happens next. Again, Barton is blocked BOTH WAYS.

5:33 PM: The verdict: Cleaning supplies (photo added above).

Barton will reopen shortly.

VIDEO: Seattle educators picketing on strike-vote eve; district says it’s asked for mediation

September 2, 2015 at 4:28 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 24 Comments


4:28 PM: That’s the picket line along SW Thistle outside Chief Sealth International High School (mouse over the image to show and click the video’s “play” button), one of two sites in West Seattle and nine around the city where Seattle Education Association members are picketing on the eve of their strike vote.

After more than three months of contract talks, there’s no agreement, so when members from around the city meet at Benaroya Hall tomorrow evening, they’ll be voting on whether to strike. As noted in our most recent coverage here and here, the issues on which they disagree include pay increases and guaranteed recess time. The SEA members picketing at Sealth are from not just that school but also its “feeder” elementary and middle schools; we’re heading next to West Seattle High School, where picketing also is supposed to be happening until 5:30 pm. The first day of classes for Seattle Public Schools is scheduled to be one week from today, Wednesday, September 9th.

5:14 PM: We aren’t going to make it over to WSHS because of the breaking story we’re covering. If anyone has a photo to share of picketing there, please send – editor@westseattleblog.com – so we can add. Meantime, Melissa has sent a photo from Delridge/Thistle, a few blocks east of the Sealth picketing:

10:02 PM: We did get photos from the WSHS picketing – thank you!

That photo is from Roland; the next one, from Rich.

The district has published another update, saying it has asked for mediation, and that the union has agreed, starting Friday. There’s also an update on the union website. Both updates spell out the respective sides’ views on where they remain apart.

TOMORROW: Junction microhousing project 4528 44th SW goes back to Southwest Design Review Board

September 2, 2015 at 3:10 pm | In Development, West Seattle news | 7 Comments

The first microhousing (in official city terminology, Small Efficiency Dwelling Units) project in The Junction goes back before the Southwest Design Review Board tomorrow night (Thursday, September 3rd) at 6:30 pm. Embedded above is Alloy Design Group‘s “packet” for the meeting (or see it here as a PDF). Toward the start, it explains the 4528 44th SW project:

The owner proposes the construction of a new 6-story apartment building with approximately 58 small efficiency dwelling units, or SEDU’s. An existing apartment building on site will be demolished. The objective for these apartments in to provide upscale, yet affordable, housing to the West Seattle Junction neighborhood. The demographic that will benefit most from this housing will be wage earners in the neighborhood that can’t afford the $1,000 plus rents of nearby properties – millennials desiring to move out of their parents houses, people opting for minimal consumption as a lifestyle, and people that commute to downtown businesses that will utilize the Rapid Ride bus service steps from the project. In short, the project endeavors to promote urban density and support the thriving pedestrian-oriented businesses and activities in the neighborhood.

Public comments on the proposed design will be taken during Thursday night’s meeting (upstairs at the Senior Center of West Seattle, southeast corner of California SW and SW Oregon). You can review the official city report on the previous SWDRB review by going here.

SIDE NOTE – THE LAWSUIT: You might recall, the developer sued the city and the current tenants of the 2-story, 8-unit building that this will replace, challenging the city’s notice saying they needed to apply for a “tenant relocation” license under the city law requiring compensation for demolition-displaced tenants. The city filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit – as we reported in July – and that was scheduled to be argued in court this morning; we’re checking on whether a ruling resulted or is pending.

What all the digging’s about at Southwest Pool and Seacrest Pier

September 2, 2015 at 12:37 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle parks | 6 Comments

We’ve just dug up details on two Seattle Parks projects you might have noticed:

(Seattle Parks photo)
SOUTHWEST POOL/TEEN LIFE CENTER/NEIGHBORHOOD SERVICE CENTER: You’re being asked to enter via the south side while this work is happening on the north side of the building at 2801 SW Thistle. A leaky water pipe was detected, and has to be replaced; once that’s done, the cement that’s being removed to get to the faulty pipe will have to be replaced, and this is all expected to continue for another week and a half.

SEACREST PIER: Remember last year’s controversy after the city temporarily shut off the Seacrest shower used by divers, because it drains into Puget Sound? Parks mentioned a “permanent solution” was being sought, and this project is apparently it.

When the work is done, the shower will drain into the sewer system instead. The $71,500 project is expected to be complete by the end of next month. (Thanks to Paul for the tip.)

What’s up for the rest of your West Seattle Wednesday afternoon/evening

September 2, 2015 at 11:40 am | In West Seattle news, WS miscellaneous | 3 Comments

(Golden-crowned kinglet, photographed by Mark Wangerin)

Midweek highlights (delayed a bit today by breaking news):

EDUCATORS PICKETING: On the eve of their strike vote, Seattle Education Association members will be picketing at high schools around the city, including both Chief Sealth International High School (2600 SW Thistle) and West Seattle High School (3000 California SW), 3:30 pm-5:30 pm today.

FINAL MONTH FOR HIGH POINT FARM STAND: 4-7 pm, the High Point Market Garden Farm Stand is selling fresh-picked produce, and this is its last month of the season. Details in our calendar listing. (32nd SW & SW Juneau)

SOUTHWEST DISTRICT COUNCIL: The city-supported group with reps from community councils and other key organizations around western West Seattle meets tonight at 6:30 pm at the Senior Center. Main agenda item: Potential environmental impacts of the Terminal 5 project, with a neighborhood advocate leading the discussion. (SW Oregon & California SW)

JIM PAGE @ C & P: Singer-songwriter Jim Page is live at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 7-9 pm. (5612 California SW)

INJURY-PREVENTION CLINIC: Runners are invited to this 7 pm clinic at West Seattle Runner (WSB sponsor) – details in our calendar listing. (2743 California SW)

MORE NIGHTLIFE … find it via our complete calendar.

UPDATE: 2 people rescued from on-its-side vehicle in Seaview

September 2, 2015 at 9:41 am | In Seaview, West Seattle news, WS breaking news | 33 Comments

(WSB photos by Patrick Sand)

9:41 AM: Big Seattle Fire/Police response en route right now to 49th SW and SW Graham (map) in Seaview, where a two-car crash is reported, one said to be “on its side” per the dispatch. More to come.

9:44 AM: First SFD crew at the scene confirms one vehicle, an SUV, is on its side and two people are inside – they’re checking on injuries as well as how to get them out. The response is being upgraded to “heavy rescue,” which means even more SFD vehicles headed that way.

9:52 AM: They’re getting the two people out now. Some of the responding units are being canceled.

9:58 AM: Our crew at the scene confirms both people are out of the vehicle that went into a tree on the SE corner of 49th/Graham; the other vehicle is a silver Volvo still out in the intersection.

Lots of SFD units still in the area so stay clear – 49th is residential but 48th, one block east, is a minor arterial through the area.

10:04 AM: Per our crew, the two people who were cut out of that vehicle – you’ll note that its roof is now missing, as shown in our top photo – will be taken to a hospital for evaluation, by private ambulance.

10:32 AM: The flipped Hyundai was headed eastbound on Graham, the Volvo northbound on 49th, when they collided, police tell us, as they continue investigating. The Volvo’s driver was unhurt.

SPD, SDOT, Seattle Subway @ West Seattle Transportation Coalition

September 2, 2015 at 9:31 am | In Transportation, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

No, the city’s new strategies for clearing crashes more quickly won’t compromise investigations.

So promised Seattle Police traffic section Capt. Eric Greening during the West Seattle Transportation Coalition‘s monthly meeting. He and SDOT’s Traffic Management Center manager Adiam Emery were there to talk about the city’s new emphasis on Traffic Incident Management (TIM), as first detailed in an August 3rd media briefing downtown focused on a new analysis by consultants.

WSTC also heard on Thursday night from the transit-advocacy group Seattle Subway, which is encouraging West Seattleites to join them in pushing Sound Transit for a bolder vision/plan than is currently being explored for next year’s “ST3″ ballot measure.

Toplines ahead:

Click to read the rest of SPD, SDOT, Seattle Subway @ West Seattle Transportation Coalition…

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Wednesday updates; more schools open; benchless bus shelter

September 2, 2015 at 7:34 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 14 Comments

(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
7:34 AM: Good morning. More rain due later today.

BACK TO SCHOOL: As of today, all the local parochial schools are back in session – today is the first day for Hope Lutheran and Holy Family (whose area of Roxbury has school-zone cameras – see the enforcement schedule here).

METRO CANCELLATIONS: In our followup published last night, a King County Department of Transportation spokesperson explained that cancellations aren’t new but their efforts to notify riders via texts/tweets are, while also responding to our questions about hiring efforts, since personnel shortages are behind the cancellations. So far this morning, one announced cancellation in West Seattle, the Route 37 run at 6:46 am.

ADDED 7:55 AM – SPEAKING OF TRANSIT: Just tweeted by Amanda Kay Helmick (who co-chairs the WS Transportation Coalition and Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council):


10:12 AM: We’re following up on that bus bench, by the way. Meantime, in addition to the 49th/Graham crash we’re covering, there’s a stalled vehicle reported to be partly blocking the Admiral offramp on the westbound West Seattle Bridge – tow truck has been requested.

ADDED 2:17 PM: In subsequent tweets, Helmick had said she was told the bench was removed because homeless people were sleeping on it. Metro spokesperson Jeff Switzer cites loitering and drug dealing:

The bench in this shelter was removed April 20 at the request of Metro Transit Police due to chronic loitering and drug dealing* in the bus shelter. Removing the bench can often discourage this type of activity in a bus shelter. We don’t like to remove any benches needed by our customers, but it is an option we use when needed to try to reduce security issues in a bus shelter that otherwise drive customers away.

We’re monitoring and are open to further discussions with the community about solutions that work for this location. We’ve had two walking tours in this area with community leaders, Seattle Police and Metro Transit Police. We are always open to working with social service groups and law enforcement to address homeless and security issues beyond Metro’s control.

Metro staff were notified and plan to remove the giant rocks found in the shelter so riders don’t accidentally trip and become injured.

We covered both of those walking tours – most recently, at the end of March, about 3 weeks before the bench-removal date mentioned by Switzer; the previous one was 15 months earlier, at the end of 2013. Our coverage noted that liquor was mentioned as a problem at that bus stop – with four places to get it nearby.

2:32 PM: *Referring to the asterisk and struck-out text above – at the exact moment we were publishing that update, Switzer sent a note saying that Metro Transit Police corrected themselves in a followup note to him, saying it was alcohol, not drug dealing, that was the problem at this stop.

3:02 PM: Back to bus cancellations – just tweeted:


4:58 PM: Avoid Barton between Roxhill Park and the east end of Westwood Village – a potential-hazmat response has blocked off the street. Also, while this is bound to be causing some bus problems, there were more *unrelated-to-this* cancellations noted by Metro – we’re posting them here for the record:



About those Metro cancellations: ‘We are working hard to address this quick growth in transit service’

September 1, 2015 at 9:58 pm | In Transportation, West Seattle news | 30 Comments

If you ride the bus from/to West Seattle, you might have been affected by a cancellation lately. Today in particular, Metro texted/tweeted four cancellations on West Seattle-serving routes, as noted in our daily transit/traffic coverage. WHen we asked the county about cancellations recently, the explanation involved a personnel shortage. After what happened today, we asked King County Department of Transportation spokesperson Jeff Switzer if it was still a staffing issue and if so, what efforts are under way to remedy it. Here’s his reply, including an explanation of the notifications, which he says are new:

The alerts for cancellations aren’t all in West Seattle, and not all canceled trips are receiving alerts at this time as staff fine tune how to best to accurately communicate canceled trips in a timely fashion. We’ll look into what might have led to the coincidence of cancellations the past few days; 55/56/57 operate out of Central Base and they might have had fewer available operators today for some reason. …

As Metro began implementing the system’s largest service increases this past June, and more in September and March to help meet demand, we’ve been hiring and training at an unprecedented pace: We’ve hired and trained hundreds of part-time drivers and promoted and trained part-time drivers to become full-time drivers – all part of the transition to putting more service on the road.

Today we have more than 2,500 operators – about 1,600 full-time and 900 part-time. Right after Prop 1 passed, we got started on hiring to implement the new planned service. We have hired 212 part-time operators from January through August, and promoted 173 operators to full-time, and are increasing staffing in our rail section in advance of U Link and First Hill Streetcar. We anticipate hiring an additional 225 part-time operators and promoting an additional 96 operators to full time through March 2016. We have attended career and hiring fairs and will be back on college campuses this fall recruiting people interested in becoming part-time drivers. Growing our ranks is essential to growing service, but it means some growing pains during these times of transition.

Coordinators at the bases and control center work to fill individual bus trips whenever an operator becomes sick, or is in training classes or otherwise unavailable. They use the workforce available to backfill any missed trips as best they can. They rely on some standby operators but also seek available drivers willing to take on extra work.

Riders don’t even notice that this goes on every day as coordinators work to make the service perform smoothly. In the event a replacement operator isn’t available, some trips unfortunately go unfilled, which can mean more riders boarding the following bus. A new effort in its infancy now tries to notify riders via email and twitter when a trip isn’t expected to be filled. Even then, we have recently canceled some trips via transit alert, only to soon find an operator and “uncancel” it. Alerts are not yet sent for every canceled trip, but staff are working to improve this new effort at better customer communications. Better still, we’re hiring to avoid canceled trips altogether.

In some cases, a bus trip will operate very late with a replacement driver; however, a rider may already have made other arrangements or boarded on the following bus. The perception is that the trip never showed up. We send these buses out because even operating late helps ease any lingering crowding issues, provided it can get into the mix in a timely fashion. This is essential for first and last trips, where riders are especially dependent on our operations.

West Seattle isn’t alone and trip cancellations are occurring in places across the system, and vary from base to base on different days. Here’s a recent tally of West Seattle trips which did not operate for lack of a driver, not including any mechanical problems/ substituted coaches. This list shows 9 bus trips unfortunately canceled in the past three weekdays, with no canceled trips Aug. 22-28.

· Alerts show we canceled one Route 56 trip Tuesday morning. In the afternoon, we canceled a trip on the 21X, one on Route 56, one on Route 57.

· Alerts show we canceled and then filled a Route 55 Monday morning. We canceled one southbound Route 55 trip and one northbound Route 56 trip.

· Last week (Aug. 22-29), Route 55 had one canceled morning trip and one canceled afternoon trip, both Friday; there also was one morning Route 56 cancelation Friday.

Some weeks this summer have been a bigger challenge than others. We operate more than 11,000 trips each weekday, and over 55,000 each work week. Using backup drivers and asking drivers to work extra has kept more than 99 percent of trips on the street. We make every effort to avoid canceling back to back trips, or first and last trips, and are mindful that some areas of the county have infrequent service. We expect that as we continue to hire drivers and encourage available drivers to pick up extra trips if they can, service will smooth out and we will see fewer cancellations in coming weeks. Until then, we work day-in, day-out to put service on the road for riders.

We apologize for the inconvenience canceled trips cause riders and want to assure our customers we are working hard to address this quick growth in transit service by hiring good, professional customer-focused drivers. That effort continues and we graduate more drivers into the workforce every few weeks at the conclusion of each class.

Customers can sign up for transit alerts to receive notifications when possible of transit disruptions or canceled trips.

BIZNOTES: West Seattle Brewing Co. reopening Wednesday, & more

September 1, 2015 at 8:29 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle restaurants, WS beverages | 7 Comments

Three quick biznotes, all from the world of local food and drink:

WEST SEATTLE BREWING COMPANY: Two months after King County Public Health closed it for “operating without a valid permit,” West Seattle Brewing Company at 4415 Fauntleroy Way SW is about to reopen. Thanks to Diane for the tip; we went over to verify in person, and were told they’ll open around 5:30 am tomorrow (Wednesday, September 2nd) for coffee and expect to stay open until about 11 pm. They’ve done an extensive amount of work in the meantime, as you can see via the WSBC Facebook page (and in fact, even as night fell, they were making some finishing touches).

MARDI GRAS DONUTS: Six months after we reported on this donut shop, specializing in beignets, opening at 9828 16th SW in White Center, it’s closed “until further notice,” according to a sign on the door. Thanks to David for the tip; he had gone there Sunday (a day they’re supposed to be open, according to new hours posted recently) and discovered the sign. Still up as of our check earlier today. We’ll keep checking back.

COMMENT TIME FOR CHUNGEE’S WEST: We broke the news last Thursday that a rezoning/remodeling proposal for the house at 6921 California SW would include a West Seattle expansion of Chungee’s, the Chinese restaurant on Capitol Hill whose proprietors already own the Morgan Junction house. As expected, the comment period for the proposal opened a few days later – here’s the notice, and here’s the form to use to comment (deadline is September 13th).

Now at Harbor Island: Biggest container ship here, ever

September 1, 2015 at 5:55 pm | In Port of Seattle, West Seattle news | No Comments


The Northwest Seaport Alliance – the new entity that includes the Ports of Seattle and Tacoma - says that’s the biggest container ship ever to call in Puget Sound, the CMA CGM Callisto, which arrived at Terminal 18 today. As big as it is – see all the stats here – it’s not as big as the ships the port wants to redesign Terminal 5 to handle, which will hold up to a third more container volume than this one. The Callisto is scheduled to head back out tomorrow. Speaking of the modernization proposal – this Friday is the comment deadline for key aspects of that proposal – details are in our report from two weeks ago.

Local speech, global overview: What Navy Region NW commander Rear Adm. Jeff Ruth told West Seattle Rotary

September 1, 2015 at 4:07 pm | In Rotary Club of West Seattle, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The U.S. Navy‘s presence in the Northwest – and much of the rest of the world – is vital, on a planet where 80 percent of all people live close to oceans or other waterways, and 90 percent of the world’s trade goes by water.

That’s what Rear Admiral Jeff Ruth, commander of Navy Region Northwest, told the Rotary Club of West Seattle this afternoon, as guest speaker at their weekly lunch. This region, in particular, he noted, is reliant on those trade routes, and in turn on the security provided by the Navy.

The turnout filled the lower meeting room at Salty’s on Alki (WSB sponsor). The admiral’s resume – detailed here – includes two years commanding the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz. And his speech was far more global than local.

Click to read the rest of Local speech, global overview: What Navy Region NW commander Rear Adm. Jeff Ruth told West Seattle Rotary…

West Seattle youth sports: Volleyball signups for girls 10-17

September 1, 2015 at 3:26 pm | In West Seattle news, WS & Sports | No Comments

Your local city-run community centers are heading into fall season – and spotlighting sports including volleyball. Quick announcement in case you haven’t heard::

Sign-ups now available for girls age 10-17 for Recreational Volleyball at our community centers. $35.00 entry covers all fees, including uniform, coaching, practice and league games. Practices and games run weekday evenings. This is a great opportunity for girls to learn basic volleyball fundamentals and teamwork. Call or visit Hiawatha Community Center for more details.

That’s just one of myriad sports, activities, classes, and other offerings this fall at West Seattle’s centers – browse the brochure to see what else awaits you.

Next affordable-housing proposals advanced by mayor, councilmember: ‘Linkage fee’ and Mandatory Inclusionary Housing, with additional height in exchange

September 1, 2015 at 12:43 pm | In West Seattle housing, West Seattle news | 27 Comments

(One of the city’s graphics for today’s announcements, explaining the Mandatory Inclusionary Housing)
When Mayor Murray announced his housing plan and the report from the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda advisory committee in mid-July, it was pointed out that the proposals will roll out over a period of up to two years. Two of the first proposals to be pursued were detailed today by Mayor Ed Murray and City Councilmember Mike O’Brien, whose announcement says they’re expected to “create 6,000 units of affordable housing” in the city as part of what was called a “grand bargain” involving developers and housing advocates. The announcement (which you can read in full, here) continues:

… “Seattle is experiencing unprecedented growth, and our challenge is to build fairly and affordably. We want sustainable, socially inclusive and economically diverse neighborhoods that are walkable, close to transit and job centers. To build these equitable communities, we must ensure that our teachers, nurses, hotel and restaurant workers who work in the city can also afford to live here,” said Mayor Murray. “With this legislation, Seattle – for the first time ever – will require that all new development in the city will pay for affordable housing. This is a bold, progressive proposal where growth itself will support affordable and environmentally sustainable neighborhoods. I am eager to work with the Council as we engage the public on this proposal as it moves through the legislative process.”

“I continually hear from people in our city struggling to keep up with rising rents. The Grand Bargain represents 6,000 desperately needed, new affordable units that we cannot build fast enough—especially not for those in need today,” said Councilmember Mike O’Brien, Chair of the Select Committee on Housing Affordability. “I will be working with my colleagues on the City Council to act as swiftly as possible on the legislation behind the Grand Bargain.”

There are two major components to the “Grand Bargain.” The first establishes an Affordable Housing Impact Mitigation Program (AHIMP) – commonly referred to as a commercial linkage fee – that will directly fund the construction of new affordable housing by requiring developers to pay a fee on every square foot of new commercial development. The linkage fee will range from $5 to $17 per square foot, based on the size and location of the commercial development.

The second part of the “Grand Bargain” calls for Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH) for new multifamily developments, requiring five to eight percent of units be affordable for residents earning up to 60 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI) for 50 years.

Click to read the rest of Next affordable-housing proposals advanced by mayor, councilmember: ‘Linkage fee’ and Mandatory Inclusionary Housing, with additional height in exchange…

Seattle Public Schools contract talks: Union’s latest update

September 1, 2015 at 11:17 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 19 Comments

With eight days left until Seattle Public Schools classes are scheduled to start, the district’s still negotiating with the Seattle Education Association. When we reported on the district’s latest update last Friday, we didn’t have new information from the union; now we do. From the SEA update posted online last night:

In the spirit of good-faith bargaining, the SEA Bargaining Team (Monday) morning provided school district administrators with significant counterproposals on recess and pay.

On recess, the SEA Bargaining Team proposed a guaranteed 30 to 45 minutes of recess each day (our previous proposal was for a guaranteed 45 minutes).

On pay, our team proposed a raise of 6 percent a year for three years, for a total raise of 18 percent (in addition to the state COLA). Our previous proposal called for annual 7 percent raises.

As of 4 pm Monday, the school district administration bargaining team had not formally responded to either of the new SEA proposals.

SEA members are still scheduled to take a vote this Thursday (September 3rd) – on either a strike, or a tentative agreement (if one has been reached by then). Before then, they’re planning informational picketing at high schools around the city tomorrow afternoon. Their contract expired yesterday; they’ve been in talks with the district for more than three months.

West Seattle scenes: Gone fishing, from the pier to the beach

September 1, 2015 at 11:06 am | In Seen around town, West Seattle news, Wildlife | 9 Comments

Two photos shared by your neighbors:

That’s from Don Brubeck, who writes, “Lots of people fishing from the bridge on Spokane St. Not me – I had to keep going, riding to work.” (Don is president of West Seattle Bike Connections, which meets tonight, as noted in our daily calendar highlights.) Next, from TS:

He writes, “Just a nice coho caught off Lincoln Park on Sunday afternoon. Fun to share.” According to the state Fish and Wildlife month-by-month advice, that’s what’s peaking on inland waters this time of year.

West Seattle Tuesday: WWRHAH, WS Bike Connections, and more

September 1, 2015 at 9:14 am | In West Seattle news, WS miscellaneous | 1 Comment

(Great blue heron @ Lincoln Park last weekend, pre-storm; photo by DLBJ)

Welcome to September! Three more weeks left in summer, though the weather belies that. Here are our calendar highlights for today/tonight:

KALEIDOSCOPE PLAY-AND-LEARN: Free activity at High Point Library for kids 3-5 and their parents/caregivers, 1:30-3 pm. Details in our calendar listing. (35th SW & SW Raymond)

DRINKING LIBERALLY: You’re invited to join the monthly gathering at Pizzeria 22 in The Admiral District, any time after 6 pm. (4213 SW College)

WESTWOOD-ROXHILL-ARBOR HEIGHTS COMMUNITY COUNCIL: 6:15 pm in the upstairs meeting room at Southwest Library, monthly WWRHAH meeting, including crime/policing discussion with SPD Southwest Precinct Community Police Team officers – here’s our agenda preview. (35th SW & SW Henderson)

WEST SEATTLE BIKE CONNECTIONS: 6:30 pm monthly meeting at HomeStreet Bank (WSB sponsor) in The Junction – the MoveSeattle levy on November’s ballot is on the agenda, which is previewed on the WSBC website. (41st SW & SW Alaska)

WORLD DAY OF PRAYER FOR CREATION: Ecumenical service at Our Lady of Guadalupe‘s Peace Garden and Labyrinth, 6:30 pm – details in our calendar listing. (35th SW & SW Myrtle)

NIGHTLIFE … see the listings on our calendar (and if yours is missing – let us know so we can add it! Follow the calendar link for our guidelines for listings – thank you.)

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Tuesday on the move; more students return to school

September 1, 2015 at 7:10 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 17 Comments

(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
7:10 AM: Soggy and slow going out there – no specific incidents reported in our area so far.

BACK TO SCHOOL: Parochial schools are returning this week – today is the first day of school for Our Lady of Guadalupe (35th/Myrtle) and the second day for Holy Rosary (42nd/Genesee), so be mindful of school zones, buses, and crosswalks. Also, we’re told the buses that serve Seattle Public Schools will be out practicing routes.

7:14 AM – TRANSIT ALERT JUST IN: Tweeted and texted by Metro:


4:36 PM – THREE MORE TRANSIT ALERTS: We have a question out to Metro about how much longer these seemingly daily cancellations will continue. Meantime, three more tweeted/texted this afternoon, noted here for the record:




5:53 PM – ANOTHER ONE:


Fifth tweeted/texted WS Metro cancellation today.

6:24 PM: As Jeff from KCDOT mentions in comments, that one is back on (we were in transit to a meeting when the “back on” text/tweet came in):


We’ll have Metro’s explanation/update in a separate story later this evening.

Happy birthday, Maxine Bundy! Longtime West Seattleite is now a brand-new centenarian

August 31, 2015 at 10:26 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 6 Comments

Meet the woman who is likely the newest centenarian in West Seattle, Maxine Bundy. Today is the second day of her 101st year, and granddaughter Brietta Tatro shares the photo and announcement:

On August 30th, longtime West Seattle resident Maxine Bundy reached the venerable age of 100 years old. Born in Missouri in a small town on the Mississippi River, she moved to Seattle with her family, eventually settling in West Seattle as a young bride in the 1940’s; she has called our fair peninsula home ever since.

To celebrate this important milestone, family and friends gathered for a surprise birthday party this past Saturday afternoon and feted her with smiles, hugs, cakes, and song. The following morning, Maxine was honored at West Side Presbyterian Church by fellow church members. As a centenarian, Maxine is extraordinarily energetic and independent, enjoying lunch out with friends, shopping excursions to Southcenter, and trips with family members. Life continues to be a grand adventure for this remarkable woman. Happy Birthday, Maxine!

COUNTDOWN: West Seattle Car Show less than 2 weeks away at its brand-new home

August 31, 2015 at 9:22 pm | In Fun stuff to do, Puget Ridge, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

13 days until the first time you can enjoy the West Seattle Car Show at its new home at South Seattle College – Sunday, September 13th, 10 am-3 pm. Still time to register your vehicle if you want to show off, and there’s still time to sign up as a sponsor of the show, we’re reminded by the organizers at Swedish Automotive and West Seattle Autoworks (which, like SSC, are both WSB sponsors). They wanted to shout out to the sponsors who are signed up already – Advance Auto Parts, O’Reilly’s Auto Parts, Tom’s Automotive, WebCami, George Butterfield of Berkshire Hathaway Northwest HomeServices Real Estate, West Seattle Health Club, and us here at WSB. To inquire about sponsoring the show, e-mail wscarshow@gmail.com – to register your vehicle or motorcycle, go here for the application. And if you just want to make plans to be there, mark your calendar … no tickets needed, because the West Seattle Car Show is free to see. You’ll get to explore some of SSC’s signature points of pride, too, including its strong>Northwest Wine Academy and Automotive Technology program, which is the show’s beneficiary. See you there!

Join in! Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council meets Tuesday night, with crime/policing on the agenda

August 31, 2015 at 7:54 pm | In Arbor Heights, West Seattle news, Westwood | No Comments

August is going out as blustery as if fall were here already … and September starts with community groups resuming their regular meeting schedules. As the leaves fall, consider turning over your own new leaf and getting involved, if you’re not already. Tomorrow night is the first Tuesday of the month, which means the Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council invites you to the Southwest Library‘s upstairs meeting room, 6:15-7:45 pm. Here’s the agenda:

6:15-6:20: Introductions & Community News

6:20-6:45: Committee & Neighborhood Council Updates

6:45-7:15: Welcome Back and Updates: SPD Officers Jon Flores and Kevin McDaniel will be with us to give us an update on the micro-policing plans. And how things looked this summer

7:15-7:40: Topics for Next Meetings: Brainstorm ideas for meetings and things to touch base on with the City.

7:40-7:45: Wrap Up: Break down the room; library locks up promptly at 8 pm.

Even if you just want to sit in the corner and observe/listen, all are welcome. The library’s on the southeast corner of 35th SW and SW Henderson.

UPDATE: Water-rescue call off 1200 block Alki, 4 kayakers brought in safely

August 31, 2015 at 4:57 pm | In West Seattle news, WS breaking news | 7 Comments

4:57 PM: SFD and SPD are en route to the 1200 block of Alki for a report of paddlers in trouble. More to come.

(Photo by David Hutchinson)
5:06 PM: Scanner indicates 4 people picked up, kayaks being retrieved. An SFD boat is bringing them to shore for evaluation.

(Photo by Lynn Hall)
Some of the emergency vehicles are being dismissed but stay away from 1200 block Alki for a while.

(WSB photo)
5:15 PM: We confirmed, four people, two kayaks. SFD medic units are standing by at Don Armeni just in case.

5:26 PM: Talked to the medics. No one needs to be taken to the hospital.

(Photo by Steven Director)
The kayaks were being brought to shore.

West Seattle Crime Watch followups: Puget Ridge assault charges; North Admiral incident details

August 31, 2015 at 4:19 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 7 Comments

Two followups on three incidents we’ve covered in West Seattle Crime Watch over the past week and a half:

CHARGES IN PUGET RIDGE DOMESTIC-VIOLENCE ASSAULTS: The 17-year-old arrested for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend twice in five days is now charged in both incidents. Both led to high-visibility searches, on August 21st and on the 25th; the first one involved the Guardian One helicopter, and both involved K-9s. He is charged with first-degree domestic-violence assault and felony domestic-violence harassment (court documents say the two had lived together off and on at the victim’s home for the past six months). The harassment charge carries the special circumstance of firearm involvement – he was alleged to have been armed and threatening to shoot and kill her. In the first assault, he hit her and pushed her down, court documents say; the second time, he choked her until she lost consciousness. While police couldn’t find him the first day, they found and arrested him after the August 25th attack. Police found three guns he was believed to have discarded, one checking as having been stolen in Renton in 2009. The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office says he remains in custody, in juvenile detention; since he’s being prosecuted as a juvenile so far, we are not identifying him by name.

DETAILS OF NORTH ADMIRAL CONFRONTATION: The police report finally became available today in last Thursday’s North Admiral incident involving a man who got away from armed youths he believed were trying to carjack him. For one, the report puts the address as the 1600 block of Palm Avenue, not California as we were told Friday and therefore reported in our first brief story. Ahead, the full narrative, minus names:

Click to read the rest of West Seattle Crime Watch followups: Puget Ridge assault charges; North Admiral incident details…

Next Page »

All contents copyright 2005-2015, 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^