West Seattle news – West Seattle Blog… http://westseattleblog.com West Seattle news, 24/7 Fri, 20 Apr 2018 13:46:13 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.5 STARTING FRIDAY NIGHT: Northbound I-5 ramp, lane closures http://westseattleblog.com/2018/04/starting-friday-night-northbound-i-5-ramp-lane-closures/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/04/starting-friday-night-northbound-i-5-ramp-lane-closures/#respond Fri, 20 Apr 2018 06:40:50 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=914426

(Click here for full-size PDF version)

WSDOT wants to make sure you know about the big I-5 work this weekend, shown on the map above. This alert is specifically for people in our area:

Our “Revive I-5” project begins at 8 p.m. on Friday, April 20, with major lane and ramp closures on northbound I-5 between the West Seattle Bridge and Olive Way. The work will go all weekend until 5 a.m. Monday, April 23.

The big thing to note is that travelers on northbound I-5 that are headed toward West Seattle will not be able to use the off-ramp to the West Seattle Bridge/Spokane Street/Columbian Way. They will have to follow the signed detour via Edgar Martinez Drive and 1st Avenue South.

(Click here for full-size PDF version)
They should consider using alternate routes such as such as state routes 99, 509, 518 and 599. However, those headed from West Seattle will be able to get onto northbound I-5, but should expect long delays and consider using SR 99 as an alternate route through the city.

The info is all on the WSDOT website, too.

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EARTH DAY: Potluck celebration at Dragonfly Park on Sunday http://westseattleblog.com/2018/04/earth-day-potluck-celebration-at-dragonfly-park-on-sunday/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/04/earth-day-potluck-celebration-at-dragonfly-park-on-sunday/#respond Fri, 20 Apr 2018 05:28:09 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=914420

(May 2013 aerial of Dragonfly Garden/Pavilion, by Long Bach Nguyen)

We’ve been spotlighting some Earth Day-related events (with more to come!) and here’s a heads-up for Sunday: You’re invited to join Friends of Dragonfly Park and Gardens for a potluck brunch in the park on Sunday, 11 am-2 pm. Laura Bruco says, “Kids and dogs (on leashes) are welcome. Bring a dish of some sort, a camping chair or blanket, and hopefully your sunglasses. We’ll give an update on the mission of our group this year, and folks who want to can pitch in with some basic weeding in the park.” It’s on 28th SW in North Delridge, between Yancy and Adams (map); here’s some backstory about the park and the group in this item from last October.

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7 MORE DAYS: Final week of registration for West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day http://westseattleblog.com/2018/04/7-more-days-final-week-of-registration-for-west-seattle-community-garage-sale-day/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/04/7-more-days-final-week-of-registration-for-west-seattle-community-garage-sale-day/#respond Fri, 20 Apr 2018 04:43:21 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=914415 Just a friendly fast reminder that West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day is Saturday, May 12th, and after two weeks of registration, we have one more week for you to sign up – the deadline is next Thursday night (April 26th). Whatever size your sale is – wherever you’re having it – whatever you’re selling, here’s where to go to register. We are up to 170 sales so far for what will be the 14th annual WSCGSD (11th one that we have coordinated here at WSB); registration closes early so we can get the map and list ready for everyone to see a week in advance!

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SEEN OFF WEST SEATTLE: 1st cruise ship of the year http://westseattleblog.com/2018/04/seen-off-west-seattle-1st-cruise-ship-of-the-year/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/04/seen-off-west-seattle-1st-cruise-ship-of-the-year/#comments Fri, 20 Apr 2018 03:17:36 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=914405

8:17 PM: Thanks to Carolyn Newman for the photo of the Norwegian Sun, maneuvering before sailing away tonight for a two-and-a-half week cruise to Florida (after a stop in Victoria), first cruise ship to visit Seattle this year. We previewed the upcoming season on Wednesday. Next scheduled ship: Ruby Princess, April 28th (one week from Saturday).

9:19 PM: As a commenter and texter point out, and as MarineTraffic.com confirms, the ship is back in the middle of Elliott Bay. Don’t know why, but we’re trying to find out.

9:31 PM: And now it’s headed back out of the bay, up to 11 knots per MT.

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‘Why are we taxing jobs?’ West Seattle business owners challenge Councilmembers González and Herbold on ‘head tax’ plan http://westseattleblog.com/2018/04/why-are-we-taxing-jobs-west-seattle-business-owners-challenge-councilmembers-gonzalez-and-herbold-on-head-tax-plan/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/04/why-are-we-taxing-jobs-west-seattle-business-owners-challenge-councilmembers-gonzalez-and-herbold-on-head-tax-plan/#comments Thu, 19 Apr 2018 23:10:37 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=914343 (WSB photos by Patrick Sand)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Though the details of a city “head tax” proposal haven’t been finalized yet, city councilmembers are trying to make the case for it, and that’s why two of them talked with West Seattle Chamber of Commerce members this morning.

West Seattle-residing Councilmembers Lorena González and Lisa Herbold co-chaired the task force that came up with the idea,

About 50 people were at the Disabled American Veterans hall in Delridge to hear them out and ask questions. And there were multiple mentions of the letter that Mayor Jenny Durkan has sent to the council, urging some caution:

The chamber offered the councilmembers a chance to speak beforetaking questions. Herbold opened by thanking attendees:

“This is really important … and really appreciated … that you took out this extra time in the week for this conversation.” She offered background on how the proposal had evolved, starting with the one that the council rejected last year during the budget process before expressing “an intent to enact such a proposal at a later date” after a “more deliberative process.”

The task force formed in late 2017, started meeting in January, and made recommendations in March, for $150 million in new revenue, half to be collected through the head tax – “employee hours tax” as it’s formally known. Herbold mentioned that the One Table regional task force meantime was looking at how to “make a dent in (the homelessness) crisis.”

She noted that 80 percent of the head tax revenue is to be “devoted to building affordable housing.” Why isn’t current spending “making a difference”? Herbold said they’re often asked. It’s because that money is “providing emergency services for people,” not going toward permanent housing, so that, she said, is why the new money would go thee.

She said the task force recommended potential ways to structure the tax, which she said would only affect about five percent of businesses. “We know sometimes large businesses with many employees don’t sometimes have that much profit,” she acknowledged, so they’ve tried to be cognizant of that.

Herbold recapped the three options proposed for the tax (above, from page 15 of the report), and also talked about the particularly controversial “skin in the game” fee that was proposed for all businesses bringing in more than $500,000 to pay – “a moral statement,” but Herbold said many found that term offensive “because as business owners, you all have skin in the game.”

The task force’s first briefing for councilmembers was just a month ago, on March 14th. An April 23rd public hearing in Council chambers is one of the next major steps; draft legislation is expected to be available before then, Herbold says.

González said the recommendations from the task force “are not the starting place, they are the landing place. … What we’re hoping to be able to do through this process and processes at City Hall are to dig into details of what the recommendations are, how they will impact businesses, what kind of difference (the money could) make in terms of visible homelessness through the city.” She insisted “we truly are here open and receptive to your feedback.”

After the councilmembers’ statements, the floor was opened for that feedback. First to speak was a manager for VCA West Seattle Veterinary Hospital, which, while it’s part of a large company, “operates as a small business,” she said. “We don’t get bailed out with our big company behind us, and if you do another 24 cents (an hour) to us, our hospital may have to close.” They have 12 employees.

Dave Montoure of West 5 asked flat out, “Why are we taxing jobs?”

“This isn’t intended to be a tax on jobs,” insisted Herbold. “We are looking to move toward a payroll tax instead of a per-hour tax … ” but she said that would take some time to “transition.”

González added, “I think really, Dave’s question makes me think about issues around accountability and impact and untintended consequences … I want to make it clear we are thinking about these things.” She mentioned other cities with similar taxes and that she’s been asking for data to see if “this type of tax results in the loss of jobs.” But she said she’s been told that kind of data doesn’t exist.

Herbold recalled the “head tax” that used to be in effect in Seattle. “That existed, it was on all businesses in the city … the reason it was removed was not because it was a tax on jobs but because of the complexity around it and its connection to transportation.. it was a difficult tax to administer.”

Gary Potter from Potter Construction (WSB sponsor) then asked, “Once you build these low-income houses, is this tax going to go away?”

Herbold said the concept of “a sunset” has been discussed – it’s in the mayor’s aforementioned letter, too – and that “there is interest in reducing the tax over time” but the money is expected to go toward 20- to 30-year housing bonds that will require revenue for all those years. “We may not need the full 75 million dollars a year in the future… 10 years is the framework we’ve been looking at … we may be able to dial (it) down but we will still need a revenue source to pay off about $10 million a year.”

González said “figuring out how we reform our tax system at the state” would be a priority in the meantime and noted the oft-cited status of Washington as having one of the most regressive tax systems in the nation.

Some in the audience said they would be happy to see the B&O tax go away. González said their discussion with the mayor includes how small/medium businesses could get some relief from that and that they hope to develop “creative/innovative ways” to provide that relief. Herbold added that the mayor’s letter included some “good ideas.”

Another local businessperson said that he is a landlord and they are bearing the brunt of a lot of “public good” measures – the council says “this is good for everyone” but “they just tax the landlords,” he said. “With this tax in that bucket as well … if it’s good for everyone, why are just businesses being taxed? If it’s a greater good cause, then everyone should be taxed.” A smattering of applause greeted that. He accused them of making an “easy” move by taxing just businesses.

Herbold replied, “The idea behind this tax is … we already have a regressive taxation system, so the people who earn the least are paying the most under our ‘everybody pays the same’ system … We are trying to construct a task that, just a little bit, rights that.”

Next question was from a local lawyer. “We keep hearing this phrase … I hear this a lot from my clients … that this is a ‘homelessness crisis’ … I think (it’s) more (that) we’ve had a local government crisis … not the current City Council, this goes back 15 years. I want to thank you for stepping up … to actually (try to) solve those problems. But … those before you have made serious policy mistakes in how to handle the homelessness crisis and the budget for that.” He said he believes people have been encouraged to come here and “rather than throw more money at the problem, I want to know how you’re changing the existing policies … and specifically what you’re doing to enforce existing laws,” such as allowing camping in parks.

“There’s a lot to unpack there,” González observed. She referred to complaints such as “(homeless people) were offered shelter but they wouldn’t go.” She said, “We have a lot to reform in (the shelter system) …” saying people choose not to go because they feel unsafe in shelters. “So over the past couple years … we have undergone an effort to improve conditions” in local shelters, “to incentivize people to move from the outside to the inside. We have a lot of work to do in that area,” but she said last year’s RFP process was the first of its kind. “We now have attached to that, performance metrics, accountability metrics … I think we are moving in that direction … trying to unwind, frankly, decades of not getting it right. … It’s going to take a while before we see the impacts on the street. … We get that we need to see outcomes.”

Second, she said, the city Human Services Department “has never had a wholesale audit of its homelessness-services department,” and while she said she has “confidence” in the department, auditing it would make sense, and figuring out how to improve the city’s contracts. The audit is being “scoped out” right now.

After Herbold said that they were working on outcome-based rules for service providers, one audience member pointed out that some organizations that had funding pulled had it restored.

Next, a rep from Quail Park Memory Care Center of West Seattle (WSB sponsor) wondered “how does de-incentivizing employment help the current job stability and homeless problem?” He also mentioned that Chicago had tried and repealed a similar tax.

Herbold said that one of the things that make a city livable, that make an employer want to bring people there, is funding for important things … such as people not sleeping in doorways, not having garbage and human waste in the streets. “I don’t agree that this (tax) is going to dis-incentive this being a place people want to bring employees.”

“All those things are the result of current city policy not to interfere with the homeless people,” the questioner said.

“There is no current policy not to interfere with the homeless people,” Herbold countered, saying there are 400 unauthorized encampments in the city but city employees are out dealing with them all the time.

He followed up, “How does de-incentivizing payroll hours not contribute to unemployment … ?”

Herbold replied, “When we implement new laws, we will evaluate the outcome of those laws,” noting that the mayor has recommended an oversight committee and having an economist look at whether the tax would have unintended consequences.

Next, an alternative was proposed by Anne Higuera of Ventana Construction (WSB sponsor). She said that as a landlord she had been hearing from renters saying they had to move because their homes were being sold. She wondered if a real-estate tax had been considered, because it could “yield huge dollars and not make a different in the profit of people selling them.” Those sales are leading to homelessness, she said, so that’s what should be taxed, “not all businesses.”

Herbold said real-estate excise taxes currently can’t be used for housing.

“If you can tax drinks within the city, why can’t you tax real estate?” Higuera followed up.

Herbold blamed the state constitution, saying “we have a little more authority to tax things we want to discourage the use of.”

“Like jobs,” someone called out.

Next, Keith Hughes of West Seattle Electric and Solar said he hadn’t heard anyone discussing the infrastructure of the city and its “ability to manage any of this … if I wrote you a $75 million check right now, how long would it be until any of these houses were standing up? … The first two years would be wasted going through the DPD” (now the Department of Construction and Inspections). He said that the problem isn’t going to be helped by doing something now that won’t manifest results for five years. “Get DPD under control so you can actually build housing.”

González said that while she hasn’t ever had to seek a permit to build something, she has gone through the permitting process, related to her condo in The Junction, and understands the complaint, adding that there is work under way “to get rid of a lot of red tape for nonprofit housing developers.” She also mentioned 2,300 housing proposals are “waiting in the pipeline” already – waiting for funding.

Final question: Dan Austin of Peel & Press wondered “what study backs that $75 million is going to be the magic number” that solves the crisis. He also voiced concern that the membership of the task force developing the tax included people who stand to make money from it. And as a restaurateur, he said, he can’t just keep endlessly raising prices, though the city seems to be able to endlessly raise taxes. “This is a regressive tax – this is going to come down to the people who buy goods and services.”

“$75 million is the target for this revenue source,” Herbold said, but reiterated that $150 million was the overall funding need cited by the task force. “We’re looking at One Table to make up the other $75 million. … Even that $150 million is not going to solve the problem … the number of units needed …” is larger than what that will fund, but she contended “it will make an appreciable difference.” Meantime, task-force participation “routinely” involves experts in the field, and she countered that the people who participated “are not going to personally profit.” What about their organizations, since low-income-housing developers were represented? “There is nothing untoward about” the composition of a task force, Herbold said. The questioning about that grew a little more acrimonious and González interjected that “maligning each other” wasn’t going to help anything. Regarding task-force members, she added, “I don’t think these folks came to the table because they are looking to make a buck … (they) have spent their lives dealing with human services, human suffering,” González countered. Overall, “the programs that are being recommended for funding … are very popular in our community.”

Chamber board chair Pete Spalding closed by reading part of the mayor’s letter aloud – the parts in which she urged the council to not harm small businesses.

To continue tracking the tax proposal, follow agendas for the council’s Finance and Neighborhoods Committee. (González is a member of that committee and Herbold is not, though all councilmembers are allowed to participate in all committees if and when they choose.) The public hearing on April 23rd will be at 5:30 pm in City Council chambers downtown.

P.S. As for the crisis that the new revenue is supposed to ease – the West Seattle Chamber is sponsoring a discussion about that too, this Saturday (April 21st), 1 pm at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center (4408 Delridge Way SW), as previewed here.

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WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH & MORE: Stolen red F-250 with trailer; car prowls; arrest followup http://westseattleblog.com/2018/04/west-seattle-crime-watch-car-prowls-arrest-followup/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/04/west-seattle-crime-watch-car-prowls-arrest-followup/#comments Thu, 19 Apr 2018 21:08:08 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=914305 Six notes this afternoon:

POLICE IN JEFFERSON SQUARE AREA: This isn’t a crime situation but we’re mentioning it since some are asking – they’re dealing with a person in crisis in an apartment.


Our ’97 red Ford F-250 with black axle dump trailer attached (filled with pavers) was stolen at 5:35 am (driving away caught on camera). We live in West Seattle, Belvidere area. We filed a police report.

If you see it, call 911.

CAR BREAK-IN #1: Via e-mail:

Our family member’s car was broken into (Tuesday) night (in the 6500 block of) 37th Ave SW sometime between 7:00-9:00 pm. There were 10 boxes of family heirlooms, books, etc taken as our Aunt is in the middle of moving. Anyone see any plastic containers dumped anywhere? Surprised and disappointed as this happened so early in the evening on a pretty busy street.

CAR BREAK-IN #2: From Molly:

I wanted to report to the West Seattle Blog that our car was broken into Saturday morning at 2:00 AM. The car was parked outside our house in the alley between 40th and 41st and Alaska and Oregon. The person wore a hood and was not deterred by our motion detector light or camera. The person went through our car and left it in shambles, and left the light on so the battery died.

CAR BREAK-IN ATTEMPT: This car prowler was caught on video a month ago by Jon in Upper Morgan:

He brought it up during last night’s quarterly Morgan Community Association meeting and shared the video with us afterward. Nothing taken – though several neighbors did note items stolen from their cars that same night – but he also notes that his car is a 1996 Subaru Legacy Outback and we’ve reported this week on several thefts involving cars like that.

GUN/DRUG SUSPECT CHARGED, OUT ON BAIL: Following up on last week’s report of two 25-year-olds arrested after a police sting operation to buy stolen wheels – the male suspect has been charged, and is out on bail; the female suspect is out of jail and has not been charged. The former is Benny P. Saeteurn, a Highland Park resident, who posted bond and was released yesterday after six days in jail. His bail was raised to $30,000 when he was charged with one count of first-degree unlawful firearm possession and one count of felony drug possession. Charging documents say Saeteurn told police he was there and armed because he was acting as protection for the woman during her meetup with what she thought was a buyer for stolen wheels she claimed to have received from a third party. Prosecutors say he should not have had a gun because he has a felony record, for burglary and attempted robbery.

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UPDATE: About that police motorcade in West Seattle – Japan’s prime minister stops at Salty’s http://westseattleblog.com/2018/04/about-that-police-motorcade-in-west-seattle/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/04/about-that-police-motorcade-in-west-seattle/#comments Thu, 19 Apr 2018 19:00:03 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=914363

12:00 PM: Thanks for the tips about the Seattle Police motorcade that headed westbound over the West Seattle Bridge a little while ago. They’re now at Salty’s on Alki (WSB sponsor) and we are told that they’re escorting Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who just yesterday was on the East Coast meeting with President Trump.

1:21 PM: Our photographer went back over to await the departure and to find out the reason for the visit.

(Gerry Kingen of Salty’s, right, with SPD Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis)

Salty’s proprietor Gerry Kingen told WSB that apparently the local embassy consulate was asked for dining recommendations and his establishment emerged!

1:51 PM: Prime Minister Abe has moved on.

(Update: Photos added.) His jet, by the way, is a 747 – here’s Twitter video posted after it landed.

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READER REPORT: Herbicide application at Alki http://westseattleblog.com/2018/04/reader-report-herbicide-application-at-alki/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/04/reader-report-herbicide-application-at-alki/#comments Thu, 19 Apr 2018 18:40:46 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=914358

Judy thought you might want to know, if you are heading to Alki any time soon, that the sign above was up for a while this morning after Seattle Parks sprayed herbicides in the 2800 block:

This morning the parks department sprayed roundup and another chemical on the new landscaping by the obelisk. Picture attached. The worker pulled up the signs after 30 minutes for the inexplicable reason that people panic if they forget and leave them too long. Talked to Brad, the parks employee, listed on the sign. He said he was spot hitting the weeds that popped up. Noticed on the sign afterwards that he also sprayed the sidewalk.

The city has said it is working to use less herbicides and pesticides.

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BIZNOTE: Thunder Road Guitars closed this Saturday http://westseattleblog.com/2018/04/biznote-thunder-road-guitars-closed-this-saturday/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/04/biznote-thunder-road-guitars-closed-this-saturday/#respond Thu, 19 Apr 2018 18:20:38 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=914356

Though physically headquartered in The Junction, Thunder Road Guitars (4736 California SW; WSB sponsor) has a lively online presence, including Instagram photos like the one above that guitar lovers go wild for. TRG asked us to let you know that the Junction store will be closed Saturday “as we will be attending the Tacoma Guitar Festival at the Tacoma Dome all weekend with a large amount of our inventory,” explains proprietor Frank Gross. Back to regular days/hours next week.

P.S. TRG is again signed up to be part of May 12th’s West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day, which includes business sales as well as individual, group, block, nonprofit, etc. sales! One more week to register if you’re planning to be part of it.

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West Seattle Thursday: EC Hughes playground overhaul; WS Neighborhood Greenway; Design Review x 2; Alki CC; more! http://westseattleblog.com/2018/04/west-seattle-thursday-ec-hughes-playground-overhaul-ws-neighborhood-greenway-design-review-x-2-alki-cc-more/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/04/west-seattle-thursday-ec-hughes-playground-overhaul-ws-neighborhood-greenway-design-review-x-2-alki-cc-more/#respond Thu, 19 Apr 2018 17:34:56 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=914316 (Thinking summer yet? Photo by Jim Edwards @ Colman Pool, where pump work is under way to prepare for May 26th season start)

Highlights of what’s happening for the rest of your Thursday:

ART FOR PRESCHOOLERS: 11:30 am at Delridge Library, for 2- to 5-year-olds and their parents/caregivers. (5423 Delridge Way SW)

WEST SEATTLE NEIGHBORHOOD GREENWAY: 4:15-5:45 pm at West Seattle (Admiral) Library, it’s the second and final drop-in session where you can find out about the greenway project and some of its newly revealed components, including the extension into North Admiral. Also be sure to respond to this survey, which has specifics on features and routing. (2306 42nd SW)

ADOPT-A-STREET CLEANUP: Join the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce at 4:30 pm for a cleanup – perfect weather! Details in our calendar listing. (California/Charlestown)

EC HUGHES PLAY AREA RENOVATION: What’s important to you when the play area at EC Hughes Playground gets overhauled soon? Be at the first Seattle Parks meeting, 5-6:30 pm at Southwest Teen Life Center. Bring the kid(s)! And be sure to complete this survey, too. (2801 SW Thistle)

DESIGN REVIEW FOR 2-BUILDING PROJECT: 6:30 pm at the Senior Center/Sisson Building, the two-building project at 4722 Fauntleroy Way SW and 4721 38th SW gets its second look from the Southwest Design Review Board. See the design packets in our preview. The meeting will include a public-comment period. (4217 SW Oregon)

ENVIRONMENTAL SLAM: Students from five schools – three in West Seattle – will be making presentations during this event at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center; mixer at 6:30 pm, presentations at 7. Details here. (4408 Delridge Way SW)

NO TIMEBANK MEETING: The West Seattle Timebank wants to remind members that it’s NOT having a general meeting tonight after all.

ALKI COMMUNITY COUNCIL: 7 pm at Alki UCC. The agenda is in our calendar listing. (6115 SW Hinds)

LIVE IN-STORE CONCERT: 7 pm at Easy Street Records, see Sir Coyler & His Asthmatic Band / Second Hand Suits perform! All ages, free. (California/Alaska)

SOUTH SOUND TUG AND BARGE: 8 pm at Parliament Tavern, no cover, 21+. (4210 SW Admiral Way)

AND SO MUCH MORE! Go browse our complete calendar.

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Why students from Edmonds visited West Seattle’s Schmitz Preserve Park http://westseattleblog.com/2018/04/why-students-from-edmonds-visited-west-seattles-schmitz-preserve-park/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/04/why-students-from-edmonds-visited-west-seattles-schmitz-preserve-park/#comments Thu, 19 Apr 2018 16:00:58 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=914326 (WSB photos by Leda Costa)

It’s a special spot in West Seattle, unlike any place in the entire city … Schmitz Preserve Park, a 53-acre forested oasis with old-growth trees, streams, and more. So special that it draws visitors from many miles around … including this high-school group from Scriber Lake High School in Edmonds:

Their visit to the park on Tuesday with teacher Chris Brown included work to assess the value of a tree – from a variety of viewpoints. And studying their value leads to appreciation for preserving them. Brown has a special link to this forest – he’s a member of the Schmitz Family, whose donated land created the park more than a century ago. And so another Schmitz Family member dropped by the park to say hi while Brown’s students were doing their work in the woods:

Standing in front of Brown are, from left, Vicki Schmitz Block, Jack Block, and Bruce Stotler – the Schmitz Park neighbor who made news recently for selling his home to the city, far below market price, so it will become part of the park when he’s gone. Its enduring importance was exemplified by the students’ project; Brown explained that the students spent 10 weeks “combining environmental science with art, PE, and (other disciplines).” After we talked with them briefly, they continued northbound on the main park trail to Alki:

If you’ve never visited Schmitz Preserve Park – its main entrances are on the east side of Alki Community Center and from Admiral Way east of the historic bridge. (Here’s a map.)

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TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Thursday watch http://westseattleblog.com/2018/04/traffic-transit-today-thursday-watch-11/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/04/traffic-transit-today-thursday-watch-11/#comments Thu, 19 Apr 2018 14:01:34 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=914321

(SDOT MAP with travel times/video links; is the ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE)

7:01 AM: Good morning! No incidents or transit advisories for West Seattle and vicinity so far.

7:07 AM: Crash on the eastbound bridge at the Admiral entrance, blocking the bus lane according to a texter.

7:52 AM: That crash is not yet clear, per SDOT.

8:05 AM: And now it is.

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Crime trends & more @ West Seattle Crime Prevention Council http://westseattleblog.com/2018/04/crime-trends-more-west-seattle-crime-prevention-council/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/04/crime-trends-more-west-seattle-crime-prevention-council/#respond Thu, 19 Apr 2018 08:27:42 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=914298 Toplines from Tuesday night’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting at the Southwest Precinct:

CRIME TRENDS: Precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis presented the report. As always, property crimes are the main problem in our area. Car prowls are ticking upward but a bigger spike is in burglaries; as noted in a recent precinct bulletin, outbuildings (such as sheds) are a big target, and thieves are also going into fenced yards, looking for bicycles and other items that can be fenced quickly. If you store anything outside, be sure it has some kind of unique marking so it can be matched to you if it’s taken and subsequently found. He also said there’s some investigation around the growing number of what he called “RV hubs” – central places where multiple RVs are parked. Police are checking to see if there’s a correlation between “hub” locations and criminal activity nearby. As always – if you see something, say something.

BIAS CRIMES: The meeting’s featured guest was Detective Elizabeth Wareing from this unit. She presented an overview explaining bias crimes, which fall into these categories:

– Malicious harassment – Harassment of person or group based on religious, racial, or sexual bias, for example (see the full list of protected groups/statuses here).

– Crimes with an element of bias – e.g. an assault, but during the assault, the attacker called the victim names. She said that these are investigated to see whether or not the attacker is troubled with mental issues or addiction, which can sometimes factor into this kind of crime

– Non-criminal bias – People may have seen or heard something and become concerned, though a crime might not have been committed.

Det. Wareing said she works out of the homicide and assault division and last year more than 400 incidents were reported to her branch. She said a large portion of her job is to do outreach to communities who could be affected by bias crimes, to talk about how to report those crimes and what avenues people have to redress problems, not only with the police, but with other city agencies.

The West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meets third Tuesdays most months, 7 pm at the Southwest Precinct. Next month’s scheduled guest is Jim Curtin from SDOT’s Vision Zero team.

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UPDATE: Since you asked about the helicopter … http://westseattleblog.com/2018/04/since-you-asked-about-the-helicopter/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/04/since-you-asked-about-the-helicopter/#comments Thu, 19 Apr 2018 05:48:05 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=914299 10:48 PM WEDNESDAY: We don’t know what exactly Guardian One was doing flying a long track back and forth – north to south and back again – over the peninsula for a while this past hour, with a couple smaller circles in different spots, but the scanner’s been absolutely quiet in the area, so, given that and the fact the focus wasn’t on any one spot, we’re fairly certain it wasn’t related to anything happening out there currently. (We even headed out on the ground to check, but didn’t find any spots of activity.) Flight-tracking software shows it has since headed north, then east, and is now over the Eastside. Though Guardian One works with law-enforcement departments all over the area, it belongs to the King County Sheriff’s Office, so we’ll check tomorrow to see if there’s anything they can tell us about the mystery flight.

ADDED THURSDAY AFTERNOON: Thanks to KCSO’s Sgt. Ryan Abbott for checking into this for us. He forwarded the reply from Air Support: “We were flying patrol, no call or anything significant.”

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CONGRATULATIONS! Duwamish Rowing Club youth compete in Oregon regatta http://westseattleblog.com/2018/04/congratulations-duwamish-rowing-club-youth-compete-in-oregon-regatta/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/04/congratulations-duwamish-rowing-club-youth-compete-in-oregon-regatta/#comments Thu, 19 Apr 2018 03:56:10 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=914290 Thanks to Sarah Blum for the update and photos from a recent competition involving youth from our areas one-of-a-kind Duwamish Rowing Club:

The youth of the Duwamish Rowing Club competed for the first time at the Covered Bridge Regatta on Dexter Lake, 15 miles southeast of Eugene, OR, and came home winners.

They have been in training through the winter and rowing four days a week since March.

On Saturday April 14th their junior novice quad won silver with rowers: Hazel Dahlquist,
Jessica Schwarz, Eve White
, and Rheea DeLora, and led by Coxswain Lilly Kurtz. They had two different heats and won second in the final heat:

Rowers Molly McDonald and Rheea DeLora won silver in their junior doubles race:

Hazel Dahlquist and Laurel Glassley received a hard-won bronze medal for their junior doubles race:

The Duwamish Rowing Club is very proud of all of our youth rowers, their dedication and hard work has paid off. There are more races to come as they look forward to Youth Regionals in May. We are grateful for all the support we received from the community at our FUNdraiser April 7th. Our website is DuwamishRowingClub.org and we are constantly in need of community support and donations.

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