(King County Assessor’s Office photo of 4041-4045 California SW)
One week ago, we reported that the city was moving forward on buying a 5,750-square-foot site north of Dakota Place Park so the park, dominated by its remodeled, landmarked ex-substation building, can be expanded. One key piece of information was missing at the time, however: How much the city will pay. That information is available today, along with other details of the city’s plan for the site, now that the legislation is officially in the council’s online files. From its “fiscal note” document:
… The City presented several offers to the previous owner; however, there was never any agreement on price. A developer acquired the property, subdivided it into two parcels, each now owned by a different limited liability company controlled by the same managing member. Both limited liability companies are willing to sell to the City. The two parcels will be acquired under separate purchase and sale agreements and conveyed under separate deeds. It is anticipated that after the acquisitions close, the City will manage the site until park design/construction funding becomes available by demolishing the three residential cottages and two small outbuildings on one parcel and managing the lease in the commercial building on the other parcel until it is time to develop the park, depending on the terms of the lease and the condition of the building. …
The current budget for this project is $795,087. The costs of negotiations with previous owner were $20,087. The current purchase price is $477,000 for one parcel and $238,000 for the other for a total purchase price of $715,000. The additional budget of $60,000 is for appraisals,administrative time, title insurance and closing costs, environmental testing, survey, and demolition of the residential structures and outbuildings. The acquisitions are scheduled to close at the end of March 2014 with demolition of the structures happening at the end of 2014. …
We checked on the site’s history; its longtime owner sold it for $550,000 last October, according to county records. The subdivision mentioned in the city “fiscal note” above was not actually a step taken by a developer, but a confirmation they sought from the city that the site could be considered two separate lots, since there is currently a commercial building fronting California and three homes behind it. The city issued a confirmation letter last December.
Will you support a Metropolitan Park District to raise extra tax $ for city parks, instead of a levy?February 28, 2014 at 10:53 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle parks | 15 Comments
Tacoma has one, and now it looks like Seattle voters will be asked if they want a Metropolitan Park District too. The citizens’ advisory committee that’s been working on the next parks-funding measure to send to Seattle voters is recommending creating a district with its own authority to raise money via new taxes, instead of sending voters another multi-year levy (the 2008 Parks and Green Spaces Levy was the last one). The committee’s vote last night was 11-1. Our partners at The Seattle Times have meeting details here; you can read the rationale behind the recommendation in this document from the meeting, starting with Item 7. If this proposal had been in effect this year, it would have cost the owner of a $400,000 home about $168, according to the document.
WHAT’S NEXT: The City Council will be asked next month to approve the district, and then it would be up to voters, likely in August, to give final approval. If a district is created, councilmembers would double as the district’s board.
Family and friends will gather this Saturday to share memories of Cecil O. Hansel, a half-century-plus West Seattle resident who died last week at 79. Here’s the remembrance they’re sharing now:
Cecil O. Hansel
April 21, 1934 – February 20, 2014
Cecil Oscar Hansel was born in New England, North Dakota on April 21, 1934, to Pete and Mary Hansel. He was soon joined by brother, Larry and sister, Joanne and later by Royal and Suzanne. Cecil graduated from Larimore High School in 1953, where he was an all around athlete, playing football, baseball, basketball and track. He was also active in drama, on the Annual Staff and President of the Lettermen’s Club. This is where he met the love of his life, Janice Morstad, a cheerleader and two years his junior.
After high school, Cecil was offered a scholarship to play football, but decided instead to enlist in the Army and was sent to Korea for a year. After leaving the military, he attended NDSU. Cecil and Janice eloped and were married on January 21, 1956.
They moved to Spokane, Washington, where Cecil attended a trade school while working at Ideal Concrete Company. Cecil and Janice’s family grew with the birth of sons Jeff, Greg and daughter, Mary Jo.
In 1963, the family moved to Seattle, Washington, and settled in West Seattle. Cecil began working at the Corps of Engineers. The family continued growing with the additions of sons, Mark and David.
Cecil played American Legion Baseball and enjoyed coaching little league football, basketball and baseball. He also enjoyed taking his family on vacations to Spirit Lake, Deer Lake, and other places, eventually retiring to Lake Trask to enjoy the fishing. He retired after 30 years at the Corps of Engineers as Chief of Photogrammetry. He enjoyed watching his kids and grandkids play sports, spending time with family and friends, and fishing.
He is preceded in death by his wife, Janice and his parents. He is survived by his sons, Jeff, Greg (Denise), Mark, and David (Diana), his daughter, Mary Jo Dunlap (Brian), his brothers Larry (Leah), and Royal, his sisters Joanne Hanson and Suzanne Green (Greg), his grandchildren Christina (Jonathan), Tom, Drew and Drake, four great-grandchildren, and also nephews and nieces.
A funeral will be held at Forest Lawn Funeral Home on Saturday, March 1st, at 1:00 pm. It is located at 6701 30th Ave SW.
(WSB publishes obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to email@example.com)
From the city:
Seattle Parks and Recreation, in conjunction with the Green Seattle Partnership, is undertaking another project to preserve portions of Me-Kwa-Mooks Park off SW Jacobsen Road. Activities will include control of 4 acres of invasive weeds, planting thousands of native plants, erosion control and litter removal with the help of urban forestry crews and volunteer support.
The public can expect to see activity throughout the year on Parks-owned properties that lie along Jacobsen Road between the western boundary of SW Hudson and SW 56th Ave.
More than a year ago, when the city bought land for a future park in The Junction in an about-to-be-development-laden zone on 40th SW, Councilmember Sally Bagshaw noted in a meeting that it came when the city turned its focus away from pursuing land adjacent to Dakota Place Park. Now, that particular land is back in play. Mayor Ed Murray‘s office says he has signed and sent to the council a bill authorizing “the acquisition of two adjacent parcels of approximately 5,750 square-feet in total, located at 4041 and 4045 California Avenue SW, adjacent to Dakota Place Park …” The mayor’s office says the urgency of acquiring this site has increased because of a developer’s deal to buy the site; the city’s chance to buy it expires March 31st. We’re told the authorization will be introduced at the Council meeting on March 3rd and voted on shortly thereafter. No word yet on the proposed purchase price; the original/current DP Park site is a former Seattle City Light facility.
A plea for support – or, a change of habits, if you are part of the problem – from Denise Dahn and Trileigh Tucker, who co-chair the Alliance for Seattle Park Nature:
Help! Schmitz Preserve is in trouble.
This rare old-growth remnant forest has become the go-to place for people who let their dogs run loose through the forest understory. The forest floor is being stripped bare throughout and it’s getting worse by the day. The forest floor is a delicate and essential part of the habitat — it cannot withstand this type of mis-use. Recently, 1500 new plants were planted and a large section of the forest was fenced off to prevent them from being trampled, but still the problem grows. Please help by writing the City Council, the Mayor, the Parks Department, or your local community association and ask them to do something to help preserve the Preserve.
Alliance for Seattle Park Nature
Read about Schmitz Preserve Park history by going here.
Here’s another way to look at the fog that has blanketed us so – relentlessly? enthusiastically? snugly? choose your adverb – recently: Up close. Trileigh Tucker, nature photographer/writer who often shares her work on WSB, headed into Lincoln Park for these photos of what she calls “dew jewels.” These first two photos are from a witch-hazelbush:
Two more views ahead:
Only one month into winter, but it’s not too soon to think about summer – especially if you’re planning to enroll your child(ren) in local summer camps. Seattle Parks has announced it’s almost signup time for its camps:
Online and in-person registration for summer camps begins Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 12 noon. Pay for the camp at time of registration, or pay a $15 deposit to hold a spot with the balance owing two weeks before the camp begins. Participation is contingent upon submittal of the appropriate waiver forms TWO WEEKS PRIOR to the start of camp. Online registration ends two weeks prior to the first day of each camp, but in-person registration will be available until all spots are filled.
The brochure with details on Seattle Parks’ camps is here.
Now THAT’S a game face. West Seattle nature writer/photographer Trileigh Tucker shares photos of a peregrine falcon encountered Saturday at Lincoln Park. And it had opponents, too:
(Click image for larger view)
Trileigh tells her story of the encounter here, with more photos.
The new sauna at city-run Southwest Pool is open – so in case you hadn’t heard, we’re sharing the news, and photos, from assistant aquatics coordinator Matt Richardson:
Southwest Pool’s new sauna is open!
We invite all of our adult swimmers and water exercisers to try out the new sauna. Use of the sauna is included in your regular swim fee during adult and senior programs. Please read and follow the posted safety rules.
Come on in and smell the new cedar.
We are really excited and know that it was worth the wait.
The sauna measures 10 X 12 feet and is kept at 160 degrees. It was purchased with a loan from Rev-Eck and Meadowbrook Councils. It is part of our fitness-room-upgrade project. The remainder of the project is waiting on DPD construction permits. It should be completed over the next six months to a year. It includes leveling a concrete floor, HVAC, emergency egress, electrical and weight equipment for a total investment close to $120,000. It should not require shutting down the pool to complete the project.
Call the pool at 206-684-7440 for information about adult swimming and water aerobics.
Haven’t been to Southwest Pool? It’s at 2801 SW Thistle; you can see its schedule online.
More than five years after voters passed the Parks and Green Spaces Levy in 2008, Seattle Parks and Recreation is expected to bring a new measure to the ballot this year. First, it’s holding three community meetings, one here in West Seattle, to see what you think of the work done by a citizens’ advisory committee to get to this point. The meeting is set for 1 pm Saturday, January 25th, at High Point Community Center (free child care provided); read on for the Parks announcement of what it’s about, and how to offer your thoughts even if you can’t be there:
It might be the most fun-packed publication in West Seattle – the quarterly combined brochure for Alki, Delridge, Hiawatha, and High Point Community Centers, Southwest Teen Life Center, and Southwest Pool. And Seattle Parks says the brand-new one, for winter quarter, is now available online – browse it here, and if you’re interested in events/classes/etc. requiring pre-registration, get ready to sign up starting at noon next Tuesday (December 3rd)!
Five of our area’s city-run community center, Teen Life Center, and pool facilities now have a new alter-ego: Safe Place for teens in crisis. This announcement from the city explains:
Seattle Parks and Recreation facilities are the first City of Seattle agencies to become part of the Safe Place network in King County. As of November 1, the start of Runaway and Homeless Youth Prevention Month, 37 Seattle Parks and Recreation facilities, are a Safe Place where youth ages 12-17 can ask for help when in crisis. These facilities include Seattle Parks and Recreation’s 26 community centers, eight indoor pools and three teen life centers.
“We are excited to be part of the Safe Place program. This program is in line with our mission to provide safe, welcoming places for the public,” said Christopher Williams, Seattle Parks and Recreation Acting Superintendent. “Being a Safe Place expands our ability to help youth in our centers.”
Community center doors now bear the distinctive yellow decal that signals to young people that they can find help and safety inside. Facility staff have been trained in the protocol to follow when a young person asks for help: offer the young person a safe and quiet place to wait and rest, and call the Safe Place hotline to notify the Safe Place coordinator of the situation. Within 45 minutes, a Safe Place coordinator will arrive to assess the teen’s needs, helping them either return home or go to a youth shelter, as appropriate.
9:37 AM: Port of Seattle Police are investigating the discovery of a body on the beach at Jack Block Park early today, and while they investigate, officers told us there, the port-owned park is off-limits to the public. Seattle Fire responded to the scene around 4:30 am and spokesperson Kyle Moore says the body that washed up was that of a man, possibly in his 20s. No other details so far.
10:58 AM: WSB contributor Christopher Boffoli reports from Jack Block that the park has reopened and police are no longer there.
12:09 PM: Our partners at The Seattle Times quote port police as saying there were no obvious signs of foul play. No ID yet – that’s likely at least a day away.
11 PM: The Times quotes the Medical Examiner’s Office as identifying the man as 22-year-old Levin Van Le, who is shown in public records with a Highland Park address.
Seattle Parks has just announced the new list of priorities recommended by the Citizens Advisory Committee that’s looking at a possible parks-funding ballot measure for next year. The Parks and Green Spaces Levy approved by voters in 2008 is expiring, so a ballot measure potentially would pick up where it leaves off. The proposed list – split into three parts – can be seen here; note that the top of the list is maintenance, which was not part of the PGS levy plan. You can give your thoughts in person at a public hearing next Thursday, November 7, at Miller Community Center on Capitol Hill (330 19th Ave. E.), signups at 5, hearing at 6, or e-mail your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The doors are open at Dakota Place Park‘s historic building and local vendors are set up for the first West Seattle Wedding Showcase, on until 4 pm today. Admission’s free – check out the building, the park, and local sources for everything from your cake to your flowers. Just north of The Junction, at California/Dakota.
How will you be asked to be taxed for Seattle Parks, and what the $ would fund: Park development? Off-leash law enforcers?October 3, 2013 at 11:20 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle parks | 26 Comments
The Parks and Green Spaces Levy approved by Seattle voters in 2008 is expiring, and that’s a major reason why the Parks Department has been working on a “Legacy Plan” including what to ask voters for next. The Legacy Plan Citizens’ Advisory Committee meets downtown tonight, and the agenda includes a briefing on potential options that could eventually wind up as part of your property-tax bill, as well as a look at proposals for how to spend the money.
First: The briefing suggests possible temporary or permanent levy-lid lifts, bonds, or creating a permanent Metropolitan Parks District – like Tacoma has – that would have its own property-taxing authority. From the city website, here are the slides for tonight’s briefing:
If you can’t see the slides in that window, you can see the PDF version here. The committee is working toward a December deadline for making recommendations to the City Council and Mayor. Tonight they also will look at the long list of “Investment Initiatives” – what might be funded with whatever money is raised by the next voter-approved measure.
Items of potential West Seattle interest from the 37-proposal list include:
#14, $1.4 million to develop parks at sites where the city has bought or is buying the land – including three in West Seattle. Explanation excerpt:
Thanks to the support of the people of Seattle, voters approved the Parks and Green Spaces Levy in 2008. Included in the Levy were funds for new park acquisition. However, there were not funds in the 2008 Levy to develop the newly purchased properties into parks or to maintain them. Fourteen neighborhood park sites have been acquired with 2008 Levy funds but are land-banked – held in their current condition. The land-banked sites are throughout the City, many in some of the densest neighborhoods, experiencing the greatest population growth. The sites need to be developed to become true assets to their neighborhoods, and to keep faith with the voters who supported their acquisition as park land.
(The three in West Seattle would be 48th/Charlestown, the 40th SW site in The Junction, and the site north of Morgan Junction Park.)
#26, which would include funding 2 new park rangers and 2 animal-control officers:
The most frequent complaints Parks receives from our park users are about dogs off leash. Additional support from dedicated Animal Control officers is also needed to respond to dog off-leash issues in our parks. Park Rangers and Animal Control officers would work outside the downtown parks with special focus on random patrols of parks where there have been complaints of dogs off leash or where there is observed ongoing damage to turf, trails or natural areas by dogs off leash. Park Rangers and Animal Control officers would work in cooperation to provide education and solicit compliance of the leash law.
There is a public-comment period at tonight’s meeting, which is at 6 pm at Parks HQ downtown (100 Dexter Ave. N.).
(That’s Schmitz Park in the center of pilot/photographer Long Bach Nguyen‘s 2012 image)
From above, it’s an oasis of unbroken lush green. At ground level, parts of Schmitz Preserve Park need help – and that means you. Shared by Seattle Parks:
Seattle Parks and Recreation is undertaking a project to revegetate damaged areas in the Schmitz Preserve stream corridor. Activities will include planting native plants, erosion control and fencing off redundant foot trails that crisscross Schmitz Creek. The project will help conserve one of Seattle’s rare old-growth forests while supporting the overall environmental stewardship goals of the urban forest system. Schmitz Preserve Park is located in West Seattle at 5551 SW Admiral Way.
Friends of Schmitz Preserve, a group of dedicated community members, are key partners in this preservation and restoration project in the park.
Getting married? Want your celebration to be full of local flavor? Put a ring around your calendar for Sunday, October 13th, 1-4 pm, when the first-ever West Seattle Wedding Showcase is set for Dakota Place Park north of The Junction (California/Dakota). Free event, which, says Seattle Parks‘ Tiffani Melake, “is featuring all West Seattle vendors; will have door prizes; and is the perfect opportunity to find all your wedding/special-event vendors.” Read on for the vendor list:
Earlier this week, we mentioned West Seattle was in for at least one PARKing Day temporary mini-park during the worldwide event tomorrow (Friday, September 20), after a few years of not participating. Now, the official map is out, and West Seattle is listed as having FOUR. Use the map above to pan around and check them out. We already mentioned the one outside Wyatt’s Jewelers (WSB sponsor) at Westwood Village; in The Admiral District, you’ll also find a multi-faceted art exploration at Mind Unwind (2206 California SW), and in The Junction, mini-parks at Hotwire Online Coffeehouse (WSB sponsor) and Equilibrium Fitness. The point of PARKing Day is to show alternate uses of streets and sidewalks, and you’ll find unique activities at all the stops – 9 am-3 pm tomorrow.
Not to look past tonight – our daily preview is scheduled within the hour – but it should be noted that Thursday is expected to have the best weather of the week, and that will make it an extra-special night to go to Camp Long for this year’s dessert fundraiser! The Camp Long Advisory Council asked us to remind you about their big event, 7-9 pm tomorrow (September 19th), with a dessert auction and live music by Miles and Karina. $10/person, and you can bring the kid(s) – for $5 each, they can participate in a naturalist program on-site while you relax in the lodge. More info on the official flyer; it’s a benefit for environmental education and the CL challenge course.
For the first time in 3 years, West Seattle will have at least one “park for a day” on PARKing Day, which is coming up this Friday. We’ve confirmed that one will be set up in front of Wyatt’s Jewelers (WSB sponsor) at Westwood Village. There also had been plans for one in The Junction, but West Seattle Bike Connections had to cancel it for lack of volunteer power. Anybody else planning one? We’re awaiting the official citywide map, which will be linked here sometime soon.
Thanks to Karen for sharing photos from today’s Sundodger Invitational cross-country meet, which brought hundreds of runners from more than two dozen high schools and colleges (none from West Seattle) to Lincoln Park. These photos are from the high-school-varsity girls’ 5,000-meter race, in which Karen was cheering for niece Rachelle Kline of Auburn-Mountainview HS (in blue):
Team and individual results are here.
Following up on a volunteer cleanup we previewed here before the weekend, Barry White from Friends of Morgan Junction Park shares this report and photos:
20 volunteers from Peace Lutheran Church joined Friends of Morgan Junction Park to complete the first phase of a restoration to the triangle park next to Thriftway in the Morgan Junction. In a little under three hours, the group weeded and cleared brush to open the interior of the park and applied three cubic yards of mulch.
The second phase of restoration will include new plantings to be installed next spring. Friends of Morgan Junction Parks wishes to thank the wonderful volunteers for their enthusiasm and hard work today.
Keep up to date on Friends of MJP’s activities via the group’s Facebook page, here.
Since our most-recent list of fundraising walk/runs coming up in West Seattle, we’ve found out about another one: The American Parkinson Disease Association is having its first-ever Walk For Optimism at Lincoln Park on Saturday, September 28th, with an 11 am start. As explained in the announcement:
Parkinson’s Disease is a neurological movement disorder that is both chronic and progressive, and we are still seeking a cure. Approximately 1.5 million Americans have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s to date. The APDA is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization. We are the largest grassroots network serving the Parkinson’s community, and the only organization that funds both research and patient support. Funds raised from the Optimism Walk will benefit Parkinson’s disease research, education, and patient support both here in Seattle and across the nation.
More information, and a link to sign up for the Walk for Optimism, can be found here.
Just in from Seattle Parks:
The Highland Park Spraypark will be closed on Wednesday for the contractor (Vortex) to replace faulty filter valves and install a new control electrical board. The park will reopen on Thursday at 11:00 am.
P.S. If you want to go to a wading pool instead, please note that Lincoln Park is the only one open for the remaining almost-two-weeks of summer (here’s the citywide schedule).
(West Seattle’s last PARKing Day mini-park, 2010)
5:04 PM: PARK(ing) Day is coming up on Friday, September 20th, and applications to participate are now available. Started in San Francisco back in 2005, it’s now an annual worldwide event where on-street parking spots are turned into temporary mini-parks, just for one day, to promote sustainability and more-livable cities. West Seattle hasn’t had a mini-park since 2010, so if you’re interested in being the next to host a park, apply ASAP – you’ll need to get your application in by August 30th (one week from this Friday).
It’s free to apply; you will have to submit your proposal to the Seattle Department of Transportation to show that it meets safety guidelines. Go here for more info, including application criteria, frequently asked questions, and photos of past years’ parks around the city.
6:51 PM: Just found out at the Sustainable West Seattle community picnic (separate report to come) that at least one application is in for a West Seattle PARKing Day park – Kathy Dunn from West Seattle Bike Connections mentioned that she is working on one for an area in front of Mashiko and Husky Deli in The Junction.
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