West Seattle Blog... » Westwood http://westseattleblog.com West Seattle news, 24/7 Thu, 24 Jul 2014 13:25:33 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.4.2 Photos: Westwood Village Street Fair 2014 http://westseattleblog.com/2014/06/happening-now-westwood-village-street-fair-2014/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/06/happening-now-westwood-village-street-fair-2014/#comments Sat, 14 Jun 2014 22:23:26 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=276537

That’s a quick spin around the heart of the Westwood Village Street Fair (WSB sponsor), which continues until 6 pm – still time if you haven’t stopped by yet!

Along with rides and entertainment, you’ll find Westwood businesses – including Massage Envy-West Seattle (WSB sponsor):

The Radio Shack folks told us they’re offering raffle tickets until 4:30 and then big prize drawings at 5. Across the center’s central drive, Wyatt’s Jewelers (WSB sponsor) has a table in front of its store:

Proprietors Joni and Kirk Keppler are there – and were handing out (what else would you expect from jewelers?) Ring Pop candy when we stopped by. Free jewelry cleaning, too. Here’s the band/stage schedule; more photos in a moment.

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Westwood Village Street Fair tomorrow: See the schedule http://westseattleblog.com/2014/06/westwood-village-street-fair-tomorrow-see-the-schedule/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/06/westwood-village-street-fair-tomorrow-see-the-schedule/#comments Sat, 14 Jun 2014 03:12:30 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=276466

(WSB file photo of mini-train at Westwood Village)
Clouds or sun, the Westwood Village Street Fair is on for tomorrow, and sponsoring WSB this week to get the word out. The fair runs 10 am-6 pm on Saturday; organizers promise “amusement rides for the kids as well as the little train that goes around the center … (also) a couple food trucks and plenty of vendor booths to check out.” Here’s the on-stage event schedule, including bands playing from 1-6 pm:

10:00 AM 24 Hour Fitness – Group -X Class

11:00 AM West Seattle Wellness – Nutritionist

11:30 AM Chico’s – Fashion Show

12:00 Noon West Seattle Wellness – Yoga Instruction

1:00 PM Band #1 Gunn

2:15 PM Band #2 Neal Storme and his Band of Amazing Friends

3:30 PM West Seattle Wellness – Hip Hop Instruction

4:00 PM Band #3 Red Sun Revue

5:00 PM Band #4 F-Holes

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Tonight’s calendar highlight: Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights CC http://westseattleblog.com/2014/06/tonights-calendar-highlight-westwood-roxhill-arbor-heights-cc/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/06/tonights-calendar-highlight-westwood-roxhill-arbor-heights-cc/#comments Tue, 03 Jun 2014 17:08:52 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=275376 Thornton Creek did it – can Roxhill Bog do it too? That’s one of the neighborhood issues on the agenda for today’s featured calendar highlight, the Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council meeting. Live/work in any of those neighborhoods? Go check out WWRHAH at 6:15 pm, Southwest Branch Library (35th/Henderson). See the agenda in our calendar listing, and the calendar itself has many more events for today/tonight, including nightlife!

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Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights CC: ‘Wall of buses’ progress; SPD briefing; more http://westseattleblog.com/2014/04/westwood-roxhill-arbor-heights-cc-wall-of-buses-progress/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/04/westwood-roxhill-arbor-heights-cc-wall-of-buses-progress/#comments Thu, 03 Apr 2014 03:38:56 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=269361 Busy agenda at last night’s Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council (WWRHAH) meeting – police, transit, and more.

TRANSIT HUB UPDATE/WESTWOOD SAFETY: More progress in a longrunning major issue for WWRHAH – chair Amanda Kay Helmick says Metro is going to make small adjustments to the “wall of buses” stop along the south side of Barton (WSB photo, above, from coverage of December WWRHAH walking tour). First, the 21: Instead of being outbound from 26th/Barton, they’re going to move up to layover and leave from 35th/Roxbury. Helmick said 3-6 pm was the prime time for the “wall.” Helmick said she toured Westwood Village with an SDOT rep who said the 30th/Barton crosswalks would be reinstalled/repainted, as will those at 35th/Henderson, by the library, and 25th/Henderson on the east side of Westwood Village. They also plan crosswalk studies at 25th/Trenton and 29th/Barton. The 26th/Barton RapidRide stop will not get a 3-way stop, she added, but some sort of visibility signage is being evaluated. The bus zone was pushed back as promised, Helmick said, but she thinks it would benefit from a little more distance. Meantime, what if a transit hub were created IN Westwood Village – on the northwest side by the post office? WWRHAH wondered. One attendee brought up the problematic area near McDonald’s on the south side; Helmick said she’s heard that the McDonald’s is going to be remodeled and that will address some of the challenges. She said later that WWRHAH is also wondering if maybe Westwood Village should be included in the pedestrian-retail zone review that is under way at the city level right now.

SOUTHWEST PRECINCT CAPTAIN STEVE WILSKE: As he’s done at other community meetings, he began with details on his 27-year background with Seattle Police. He’s “been in this job for about six weeks now,” but just started a full-time focus on it after an “extended transition” from his previous roles. He said he now has two weeks to come up with his “summer plan,” and he hopes to incorporate the Mounted Patrol – with which he used to work – because its officers and horses can “go places nobody else can.” Another initiative: He says everyone he’s met has expressed an interest in getting more crime information, so the Southwest Precinct will likely have a pilot program to allow you access to crime info beyond what’s available now.

Helmick brought up the concerns about Roxhill Park. “We’ve been working really closely with SPD; a lot of the stuff we’re seeing is petty – smoking marijuana, drinking, graffiti – but we’ve also seen beatings, stabbings, rapes, so we’re very concerned about that.” Historically, they haven’t seen much foot patrolling in the area, Helmick said, but a walking path could take officers through the park and Westwood Village and all the way to schools – in either direction – especially 2 to 4 pm.

Wilske said he would like to reinvigorate bike patrols. But that would be an occasional visit. Right now, he said, they’re using the Anti-Crime Team “to try to get out ahead” of property crime. He also will be putting in a request for special emphasis officers on Alki. Carol Baker from Seattle Parks asked about the Community Police Team; Capt. Wilske said he’d like to add one more person to the team, since they can focus on issues such as “there’s a problem house out there somewhere.”

Asked if they are short officers, Wilske said as far as he knows the department is not too far behind its authorized total of sworn officers.

Helmick asked what kind of partnership SPD and KCSO could have because of the shared issues, considering that “criminals don’t care what side of the line they’re on – or maybe they do” if there’s an enforcement difference. (She also pointed two members of the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council board who were on hand, president Barbara Dobkin and board member Liz Giba.)

Capt. Wilske says the crime analysts do talk, and they look for similar cases – they determined the recent 26th/Roxbury rape/attack was not related to a 2013 case here on the city side of the line.

An attendee said he doesn’t see police cars around much, but if he had a “ticket book, I could write tickets all day long.”

ROXHILL BOG: Following up on WWRHAH’s recent discussion kickoff, Helmick said they’re interested in looking at how Thornton Creek up north was daylighted, linking the Longfellow Creek situation to rehydrating the bog. Next month’s WWRHAH meeting will take a closer look. (See the bog page on the WWRHAH website.)

SEATTLE PARKS UPDATE: Robert Stowers, who noted he grew up in West Seattle and attended Chief Sealth, is accountable for the South Region outdoor parks – “from Montlake Cut (southward) to the city limits.” He was here to pitch the Parks Legacy Plan, which might lead to a vote this summer (possibly on creating a Metropolitan Park District). A public hearing is coming up, 6 pm April 7th. Read more about the plan here; about the hearing, here. A new taxing district isn’t the only option for Parks funding; several others were presented to the City Council in a Monday afternoon meeting – read about them here.

SOLARIZE WASHINGTON: Mia came to speak about Solarize Seattle, whose next campaign will happen in West Seattle, she said. They’ve had five “campaigns” to try to organize a community campaign to buy solar power systems. “The prices are definitely coming down, and we’re getting better at doing outreach,” she said. It’s a project of Northwest SEED, and you can read more about it here. Mia was asked how much a system might cost – $20,000-$40,000 for a home, but then you get a big tax credit. And there are low-interest “zero money down” loans available, she said.

NPSF GRANT APPLICATIONS MOVING AHEAD: Here’s first word on what’s advanced from the Delridge Neighborhoods District Council review of community-proposed projects seeking Neighborhood Park and Street Fund money:

*Roxhill Park improvements
*More features for the crosswalk coming to Delridge outside Boren
*Highland Park pedestrian beacons, 11th/Holden

The proposal docs are linked in our coverage of last month’s DNDC meeting. More reviews are ahead before a decision is in on whether any or all will get city money.


WEST SEATTLE TRANSPORTATION COALITION: Joe Szilagyi said guests for the WSTC meeting next Tuesday are close to “half the engineering staff of SDOT.” More details at westseattletc.org.

DELRIDGE GROCERY: Helmick reminded folks about the co-op that’s working toward opening a small grocery at Cottage Grove Commons this summer. More info at delridgegrocery.coop.

NEIGHBORHOOD SUMMIT: As noted on WSB earlier in the day, the agenda is out for the summit at Seattle Center this Saturday, April 5th, 9 am-2 pm.

30TH/ROXBURY SIDEWALK FINISHED: An attendee pointed out that this work has just been completed, and everyone should go take a look.

WWRHAH meets on first Tuesdays, 6:15 pm, Southwest Branch Library (35th/Henderson).

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Southwest Library’s Jan Hogan retiring after quarter-century http://westseattleblog.com/2014/03/southwest-librarys-jan-hogan-retiring-after-quarter-century/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/03/southwest-librarys-jan-hogan-retiring-after-quarter-century/#comments Fri, 14 Mar 2014 17:30:06 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=267662

That’s Jan Hogan, soon to retire from Southwest Branch Library in Westwood (35th/Henderson) after more than a quarter-century! Her library colleague Jane Gibson shared the photo and this note:

Congratulations to Children’s Librarian Jan Hogan on her retirement. Stop by this month and thank Jan for her nearly 26 years of wonderful stories and many happy memories she created at the Southwest Branch Library.

Jane says Jan is leaving in early April.

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Update: Car hits Pet Pros in Westwood Village; no one hurt http://westseattleblog.com/2014/02/heavy-rescue-call-in-9000-block-25th-sw/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/02/heavy-rescue-call-in-9000-block-25th-sw/#comments Sat, 22 Feb 2014 22:58:38 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=265823

(1st photo in, from Patricia - thanks!)
2:58 PM: Seattle Fire crews are responding to a report of a car hitting a building in the 9000 block of 25th SW, with a “heavy rescue” response.

(WSB photo by Patrick Sand)
3:02 PM: It’s a car into the front window of Pet Pros at Westwood Village, according to texters and address cross-reference. No injuries reported so far. Thanks to Patricia for the top photo.

3:12 PM: Our crew is there and confirms nobody hurt. The car has already been backed away, though the sidewalk there is blocked off for cleanup (thanks to the person who texted the photo above this line).

(Another photo added: Jessie shared the view from across 25th SW – thanks!)
Police are still talking with people to determine whether this was a case of hitting the wrong pedal, a medical problem, or something else.

(WSB photo by Patrick Sand)
3:33 PM: It’s now a cleanup scene – all that broken glass you see above, for examples. Also lots of onlookers, and at least one TV crew. We’re told the store is closed right now (we’ll check back later). In case you were trying to remember (we were), we looked up the date for a somewhat similar incident at the Westwood post office – May of last year.

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Bus progress, bog bureaucracy, and more @ Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council http://westseattleblog.com/2014/02/bus-progress-bog-bureaucracy-and-more-westwood-roxhill-arbor-heights-community-council/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/02/bus-progress-bog-bureaucracy-and-more-westwood-roxhill-arbor-heights-community-council/#comments Thu, 06 Feb 2014 09:01:33 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=263954 Progress toward a safer Westwood “transit hub” was one of the updates at Tuesday night’s Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council meeting.

(WSB photo, December 2013)
BUS UPDATE: WWRHAH chair Amanda Kay Helmick said she’s “pleased they’re listening to us” – “they” meaning some of the agencies that participated in the walking tour of the Westwood Village/Roxhill Park “transit hub” back on December 30th (WSB coverage here). The first progress comes in the area shown in our photo above – 25th SW along the east side of the shopping center, where, Helmick says, she’s been told some layover zones will be moved. The Sound Transit 560, for example, will move further south next month, closer to the southeast corner of Westwood Village, for a little more distance between it and the driveway shown above. But there’s no word of a change yet for the “Wall of Buses” created by layover zones on Barton, alongside Roxhill Park; Metro said it needed a little more time to figure out if there’s anything they can do, Helmick said. But there will be a 70-foot no-parking zone by the crosswalk – “it’s not going to stop the stacking” but it’ll definitely give everyone a little more space, for starters, she said.

Speaking of Roxhill Park, it was the focus of two other items:

ROXHILL PARK BOG: The topic of bringing in enough water to return part of the area (actually a fen) to a wetland was brought back up again – as it’s believed that would also potentially chase out some of the problems. But the logistics are a challenge, including trying to figure out what caused a leak that is depriving it of its water – that would be expensive, even just to get to the point of a plan. Now they are trying to arrange a meeting with Seattle Public Utilities, and say it’s proving to be difficult to arrange. Since it’s not happening at lower levels, it was suggested that Helmick contact the director of SPU and request a meeting. Mat McBride mentioned some SPU hydrologists who live in the area have been doing a study and might be worthwhile to consult, since they were looking for community feedback. Several murmurings of support followed that.

Rory Denovan mentioned this is part of the SPU Strategic Business Plan on which you can comment and that people should use the opportunity to express support for fixing the hydrology of the local creeks such as Longfellow and Fauntleroy – “there are fish in those creeks.” You can take a survey right now to offer your thoughts, and/or go to a public meeting one week from tonight, 6 pm at High Point Community Center (6920 34th SW).

GRANT SUBMITTED: Helmick said they’ve submitted a grant to try to get some lighting, adult exercise equipment, and educational component for Roxhill Park. They’ll hear in the spring whether it’s advancing. They’re seeking $90,000.

PEDESTRIAN RETAIL ZONING: One week after briefing the Morgan Community Association (WSB coverage here), Aly Pennucci of the city Department of Planning and Development came to WWRHAH to talk about the project. This proposed zoning overlay is meant to promote “walkable neighborhood business districts.” Its components would regulate, for example, how parking is accessed – and could lead to further reductions in required offstreet parking. Wider sidewalks, overhead weather protection – those are the types of things that the zoning overlay would require. She explained that the background of the project lay in City Council direction about a year and a half ago to look at dozens of areas around the city, to “create focused nodes … for walkable neighborhood areas.” She noted that there’s not a lot of commercial zoning in this area, and it could over time be developed as multifamily if something isn’t done to encourage business development. But, she added, the study areas are open to comments from residents who might have something to say about certain uses such as drive-throughs or gas stations, should they be needed.

Is this only going to affect new construction? was the first question from an attendee. Answer: Yes. It would require a minimum amount of “floor to area ratio” in the area – which roughly equaled a two-story building, so that the zoning wouldn’t turn out to be something single-story like those drugstore proposals that drew so much controversy. Next question: How will the zoning affect religious facilities/institutions? Answer: They would still be allowed in a pedestrian zone, according to Pennucci. Another question: Would this kind of zoning overlay affect future safety improvements, say, along 35th SW? Pennucci said generally no – they are trying to work closely with SDOT to make sure of that.

Chair Helmick pointed out that the city’s map didn’t even acknowledge the huge commercial area that exists now – Westwood Village. She also reiterated that it would be vital for DPD to work with SDOT. Next question – had the city reached out to property owners? Not specifically, said Pennucci, but they had sent out some general information and are watching to see how the survey comes in. She noted that she doesn’t see many business owners at neighborhood meetings so far. “It’s fine to reach out to us, but if I owned the corner of 35th and Roxbury and was going to redevelop it …” said Pablo Lambinicio.

McBride wondered, “Is this being used to possibly create walkable commercial zones” where they don’t currently exist? Pennucci said she sees it used both ways – “to protect an existing area, like Alaska Junction” and “to promote .. with your future goggles on, while it might not look that way now, the vision for the future is that it becomes one of those.”

Another attendee said, “Decreased parking, I don’t understand, to increase customers … it makes it difficult.” Pennucci said that if an area was dominated by surface parking lots, it could make development more difficult; also, the city wants to promote various types of transportation, including busing and bicycles …

Helmick also pointed out that one of the areas on the map, 16th/Roxbury, could not be appropriately addressed without considering the White Center commercial area on the other side of the city-limit line.

Pennucci concluded by asking that people take the online survey, and also share comments with her by e-mail (her contact info is on the project home page).

ROXBURY SAFETY PROJECT: Infrastructure Committee chair Chris Stripinis had updates including the Roxbury safety project breakthrough, noted here earlier in the day — two meetings are coming up. Those are your chances to go suggest what you want to see, and what you don’t want to see.

35th SW SAFETY: WWRHAH secretary Joe Szilagyi mentioned the safety petition and said it sounds like the city is going to make sure something happens with 35th, this time.

DELRIDGE NEIGHBORHOODS DISTRICT COUNCIL: McBride, who chairs this group, said the meetings are open to the public and that this year, they’re going to try to bring in every current City Councilmember, even as the elections switch to districts starting next year.

EVERY OTHER WEEK TRASH? Szilagyi said 62 people responded to a Facebook poll about this proposed change, and a majority were against it. WWRHAH planned to send a note asking for the city to do more outreach before any decisions are made.

WEST SEATTLE TRANSPORTATION COALITION: Meets next Tuesday, attendees were reminded.

WWRHAH meets the first Tuesday of the month, 6:15 pm at Southwest Branch Library (35th/Henderson) – watch wwrhah.org for updates.

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Well-drilling, raingarden-digging for overflow-control project about to start in Sunrise Heights, Westwood http://westseattleblog.com/2014/01/well-drilling-raingarden-digging-for-overflow-control-project-about-to-start-in-sunrise-heights-westwood/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/01/well-drilling-raingarden-digging-for-overflow-control-project-about-to-start-in-sunrise-heights-westwood/#comments Mon, 27 Jan 2014 10:02:16 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=262700 Three years after King County announced two very different plans for reducing combined-sewer overflows at two West Seattle pump stations, both projects are about to go into the major construction phase.

The county hosted a pre-construction meeting back in November (WSB coverage here) for the CSO project in the Murray basin, a million-gallon storage tank across the street from Lowman Beach.

And now, the Barton basin project – 91 roadside raingardens on 15 blocks in Sunrise Heights and Westwood – has just had two pre-construction meetings. The project map has been updated, showing construction on eight blocks this year, seven blocks next year, and five more blocks in reserve if needed:

We covered the first meeting Thursday night at Westside School (WSB sponsor), which was followed by a Saturday morning session at Neighborhood House’s High Point Center.

Thursday night brought a scene very different from an early project meeting in the same room a few months after the plan was first unveiled.

That meeting (WSB coverage here) filled the room; Thursday night, turnout was sparse. But the time between has featured numerous meetings and other types of outreach. Even this one was explained more as a chance for residents to talk one-on-one with project reps, if they still had questions, than as a big-group event. Nonetheless, those who showed up were given a presentation with “general information about the construction process.”

Project manager Mary Wohleb reminded everyone that the goal was to reduce overflows at the Barton Pump Station to one a year, from the current four. The project area is responsible for 45 percent of the flows to the pump station, so that’s why it was targeted.

She went over the map – same one shown above – recapping that the blue-marked blocks are those set for construction this year, orange-marked blocks for next year, green-marked blocks only if needed. The raingardens are mostly at the south end of blocks, to capture where the water runs during big storms.

Some of what’s been done already and is about to happen:

-15 gas-line services were “adjusted” last summer
*24 trees were transplanted in November. Non-transplantable trees will be taken out in the next few weeks; they promise two trees will be planted for every one removed. (Trees targeted for removal have just been flagged.)
*Deep infiltration wells will be drilled starting in a few weeks, at the end of the 15 blocks involved. This will take several months, until May, and then construction begins, with steps including:

*Protecting existing trees
*Relocating water/sewer lines if needed
*Installing underdrains
*Installing irrigation

That’s just the first month. Then:

*Placing bioretention soil
*Installing landscaping

That’s months two through four, counting plant establishment “so they can function when water is directed to the bioretention swales.” Then they’ll do gutter-flow tests to make sure water flows well through the system. And current midblock catch basins will be “abandoned.”

One person asked how long well-building will take; answer – it’ll take less than a week to build each one.

During construction there will be:

*Parking restrictions on streets
*Traffic revisions with signs and cones to direct cars around project area
*Emergency/local access maintained
*Access for home businesses, mail carriers, waste management (might have to move where you put your containers), delivery trucks
*Pedestrian access at all times

One resident requested early notification, whenever possible. KCWTD’s Kristine Cramer promised there also would be on-site help to direct people around the area. “The real active construction phase is about two months per block,” residents were told, with work hours typically 7 am-5 pm, though that might vary by season “to take advantage of daylight.” And when a block is under construction, they will hear from the project team “a lot,” they were promised. There’s an e-mail list and there’s a project hotline – 206-205-9184, that will be answered around the clock. Every project inquiry will get individual attention.

Then another concern that had surfaced three years ago – maintenance. Wohleb promised that the county has “dedicated funding for ongoing maintenance” and will come out from time to time and will do maintenance as needed.

In the beginning, the county warned, raingardens are “going to look more like soil than plants.” Finally, 3 to 5 years post-construction, it will look shrubby.

At 3-5 years, it will look shrubby.

And by the way, any area homeowners – not just in the raingarden blocks, but anywhere in the Barton basin – can check out voluntary green-stormwater infrastructure via RainWise, the voluntary incentive program to capture roof and yard runoff, offering rebates for installation of cisterns and home raingardens – already more than 20 in the area, and the opportunity for many more.

Shortly after that, the meeting returned to the format with which it had begun – project reps at tables around the room, answering questions one-on-one.

The toplines of what’s next are also in the project’s latest newsletter – downloadable (PDF) here.

And other parts of the area will likely want to pay attention – since other green-stormwater-infrastructure projects are in the early planning stages.

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Pre-construction meetings, survey for Westwood, Sunrise Heights ‘roadside raingardens’ sewer-overflow-control project http://westseattleblog.com/2014/01/pre-construction-meetings-survey-for-westwood-sunrise-heights-roadside-raingardens-sewer-overflow-control-project/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/01/pre-construction-meetings-survey-for-westwood-sunrise-heights-roadside-raingardens-sewer-overflow-control-project/#comments Tue, 07 Jan 2014 20:37:39 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=261240

King County’s next major combined-sewer-overflow-control project, the Barton basin “green stormwater infrastructure” roadside raingardens on 15 streets in Westwood and Sunrise Heights, is close to starting construction. So the county has just announced two pre-construction community meetings:

Join King County at one of two community meetings to prepare the neighborhood for upcoming construction activities. At the meeting, you can:

· Learn more about the construction schedule and sequence of activities
· Meet representatives from the construction contractor, Goodfellow Brothers
· Hear how King County works with neighbors during construction
· Learn about anticipated construction impacts
· Bring the kids! A kids activity table will be set up in the main room both days

Thursday, January 23, 6:30 – 8:00 pm, Westside School, 7740 34th Ave SW
Saturday, January 25, 10:00 – 11:30 am, High Point Neighborhood House, 6400 Sylvan Way SW

Checking the project website, we also found this online survey for those in the neighborhoods affected.

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First community-council meeting of 2014: WWRHAH, tomorrow http://westseattleblog.com/2014/01/first-community-council-meeting-of-2014-wwrhah-tomorrow/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/01/first-community-council-meeting-of-2014-wwrhah-tomorrow/#comments Tue, 07 Jan 2014 04:07:55 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=261156

(WSB photo from December 30th, alongside ‘Wall of Buses’ by Roxhill Park)
Eight days after leading a tour of the Westwood Village “transit hub” and its challenges (WSB coverage here), a followup discussion will be part of the Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council (WWRHAH) meeting tomorrow (Tuesday) night, 6:15 pm at Southwest Branch Library. Here’s the agenda just sent by chair Amanda Kay Helmick:

6:15-6:20: Introductions & Community News:
6:20-6:25: Review Bylaws
6:25-6:35: Infrastructure Committee Update: Update from Committee Leader, Chris Stripinis.
6:35-6:50: Metro & Stakeholders December 30th Walk Update: With Amanda Kay Helmick, and Joe Szilagyi
6:50-7:40: Roxhill Park Updates: Updates on efforts to clean up the park; Rehydrating the bog; lighting; Grants
7:40-7:45: Wrap Up: Breakdown the room; library locks up promptly at 8 pm.

The library is at 35th/Henderson; all are welcome.

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Now you see the park, now you don’t: Touring the ‘transit hub’ with Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council leaders http://westseattleblog.com/2013/12/now-you-see-the-park-now-you-dont-touring-the-transit-hub-with-westwood-roxhill-arbor-heights-community-council-leaders/ http://westseattleblog.com/2013/12/now-you-see-the-park-now-you-dont-touring-the-transit-hub-with-westwood-roxhill-arbor-heights-community-council-leaders/#comments Tue, 31 Dec 2013 06:49:11 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=260558

Five years ago, when community members lobbied Metro to make sure RapidRide went all the way to Westwood instead of turning around at Fauntleroy, they didn’t envision what’s become a “wall of buses” alongside Roxhill Park. A new community council has since emerged, and park-safety concerns are high on its list. So today, Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council leaders took a group of visiting officials on what you might call a wall-to-wall tour.

It started and ended on the east side of Barton, alongside the park. This tour didn’t go into the park – though some of its challenges were well within view:

Liquor stolen from nearby stores – four places stock it in Westwood alone, plus Safeway on the other side of the park – is often consumed nearby, and the bus wall hides it from scrutiny. So WWRHAH suggests other places buses could lay over:

The tour around the outer perimeter of Westwood Village was led by WWRHAH chair Amanda Kay Helmick, above in purple, and secretary Joe Szilagyi, above in gray. Those who came along to see and hear about the situation included not only reps from Metro, but also from King County Councilmember Dow Constantine‘s staff, City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen‘s staff, the County Sheriff’s Office – which is responsible for Metro Transit Police – and Seattle Police, Seattle Parks, even state legislator Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon (below at left), a frequent transit rider who told his stories of getting around Westwood:

One frequently noted problem, not enough light for people to get around safely at night, including at 25th and Trenton, near the bus holding/bus stop area on the east side of Westwood:

Pedestrian and driver safety is at stake too, with cars exiting onto 25th jutting out to see around the buses and other vehicles there:

At each stop, the WWRHAH leaders offered suggestions, as tour participants took notes. And each area offered its own challenge:

While that stretch along Barton has an official RapidRide area, it was noted that bus passengers also exit much further west along the block, in the layover zone, which is unlit. WWRHAH stressed that they’re not requesting lights for the entire park – but that stretch needs something; our photo below, taken December 4th, shows how dark it can get:

This tour was part of the followup to other exchanges WWRHAH has had with Metro and other agencies that have jurisdiction in the Westwood/Roxhill area; here’s a previous story with a detailed reply to WWRHAH from Metro’s GM Kevin Desmond. The council’s November meeting was centered on park concerns and potential solutions. No specific next steps were announced as this afternoon’s tour ended, but WWRHAH plans to continue pressing for action.

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Update: Basement fire at home near Westwood Village http://westseattleblog.com/2013/12/house-fire-call-in-9000-block-of-21st-sw/ http://westseattleblog.com/2013/12/house-fire-call-in-9000-block-of-21st-sw/#comments Wed, 25 Dec 2013 07:14:42 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=260163

(Photos by Christopher Boffoli for WSB)
11:14 PM: Big response for a house-fire call in the 9000 block of 21st SW, near Westwood Village (map) – possibly a fire in the basement. More shortly.

11:29 PM UPDATE: Christopher Boffoli is there for WSB and confirms it’s a basement fire – very smoky, he adds. Via radio, we’ve heard firefighters declare it “tapped.” No injuries reported so far.

11:37 PM UPDATE: Update from Christopher – all the residents got out OK; they’re still doing inventory on pets – he says, “They grabbed their dogs but they say a couple of cats are inside.”

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West Seattle Crime Watch: Armed robbery at Westwood Rite-Aid; 30th SW search http://westseattleblog.com/2013/12/west-seattle-crime-watch-armed-robbery-at-westwood-rite-aid/ http://westseattleblog.com/2013/12/west-seattle-crime-watch-armed-robbery-at-westwood-rite-aid/#comments Fri, 20 Dec 2013 01:25:19 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=259680

5:25 PM: Police are converging on Westwood Village after a report that the Rite-Aid store was held up by a robber who said he had a gun. The only description mentioned in radio communications so far – “Asian male.” While he gave a worker a note that said he had a gun, no gun was seen.

5:40 PM: No updates on that case yet – our crew at Westwood says officers are searching the area as well as talking to workers in the store. **Meantime** – If you are seeing/hearing the Guardian One helicopter in the area – they also are helping with the investigation of another incident not far away, a break-in reported in the 8800 block of 30th SW (map), reported within this past hour, with the resident coming home to discover a break-in and suspecting the burglar(s) might still have been in the house.

5:56 PM: Back to the Rite-Aid robbery – our crew has just talked to police on scene. They will say only that “merchandise” was taken; they do have a more detailed description of the robber – Asian, male, 20s, 5’4″ to 5’6″, wearing a black jacket. Police are continuing to search neighborhoods in the area. To be clear, we have not heard ANY suggestion that these two cases are related – just happened that they were in the same area, and with the helicopter over here, albeit briefly, we needed to mention the burglary too.

9:23 PM: The SPD Blotter post about the holdup contains one new bit of information – confirming the “merchandise” was drugs, stolen from the pharmacy.

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‘We are fed up and we need help’: WWRHAH’s letter to Mayor-elect Murray, following Roxhill Park rape report http://westseattleblog.com/2013/12/we-are-fed-up-and-we-need-help-wwrhahs-letter-to-mayor-elect-murray-following-roxhill-park-rape-report/ http://westseattleblog.com/2013/12/we-are-fed-up-and-we-need-help-wwrhahs-letter-to-mayor-elect-murray-following-roxhill-park-rape-report/#comments Wed, 18 Dec 2013 00:46:35 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=259491 We talked with police again today about the Roxhill Park rape report that first emerged in a letter sent by Denny International Middle School and Chief Sealth International High School principals to their schools’ families, published here Monday afternoon. The Denny student first reported it to a school employee yesterday, saying it happened in the park around 3:30 last Thursday afternoon; police tell us the report then was given to a school-assigned police officer, and the case then was referred to the SPD Sexual Assault Unit, which hoped to have a detective speak with the victim today. With the investigation still at an early stage, no written report is available yet, we’re told. But here’s one thing in writing: The following letter just sent to Mayor-elect Ed Murray from the Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council, making sure he understands the park’s crime crisis and asking what

As chronicled here previously, West Seattle’s newest community council already had been focused on the park and its challenges – and this just stepped it up further. We’ll let you know what response they receive, and will continue to follow up the investigation as well.

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West Seattle Crime Watch: Car theft compounds locker break-in http://westseattleblog.com/2013/12/west-seattle-crime-watch-car-theft-compounds-locker-break-in/ http://westseattleblog.com/2013/12/west-seattle-crime-watch-car-theft-compounds-locker-break-in/#comments Mon, 09 Dec 2013 18:14:18 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=258566 Monica is asking you to be on the lookout for a stolen car – which is linked to a theft report:

Last night, my son was working out at 24 Hour Fitness at Westwood around 10:00. He called us at 10:30 to report that his locker had been broken into and his wallet and keys (and one shoe!) stolen. The thief then stole his car. SPD did arrive and take a report. Please be on the lookout for a 2005 Nissan Altima 4D 2.5, license plate #AIX6123, in the color of light metallic green. My hope is that it has already been ditched somewhere.

As the SPD @getyourcarback auto-theft tweet advises, call 911 if you see it.

SIDE NOTE: That SPD Twitter feed does not mention *where* a car was stolen, not even which part of the city, and the notations that appear on the SPD crime-info map do not link to reports with info about the car, so the only way we can publish details of a stolen vehicle is if we get a reader report, like this one. Not only have those reports led to other readers spotting stolen cars, sometimes a sighting results in even more (update on the suspect in that case is in the works, by the way). We do hope you won’t EVER be hit by crime, but if you are, once it’s been reported to police, consider sharing info here too – editor@westseattleblog.com.

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