Amanda Kay Helmick becomes 4th candidate for West Seattle’s new City Council District 1 seat

October 20, 2014 at 8:32 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 14 Comments

The hottest local political race isn’t on the November 4 ballot you should have received by now – and won’t even be decided for another year.

Four candidates are now running in City Council District 1, which includes West Seattle.

This morning, Amanda Kay Helmick, chair of the Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council, is announcing she’s in the race.

She joins Chas Redmond, David Ishii, and Tom Rasmussen, the only member of the current City Council living in the District 1 boundaries, which were set when city voters approved Charter Amendment 19 last year, changing the council from nine at-large members to seven by-district and two at-large.

Along with chairing WWRHAH, Helmick co-founded the West Seattle Transportation Coalition, which launched in September 2013 as the WS Transit Coalition and expanded its focus weeks later while emerging as an early voice against proposed Metro cuts.

Helmick also represents Delridge on the City Neighborhood Council, which she says needs to be strengthened and empowered. She is an eight-year West Seattleite whose full bio is on her newly launched website. From her official announcement:

“We have multiple and disconnected plans, and no one in the city is talking about how these plans overlay and affect the people of Seattle,” Helmick said of the city’s current transportation and land use initiatives. “I want to empower the under-served communities of West Seattle and South Park and give them a voice in these plans.”

According to Helmick’s campaign website, she is collecting petition signatures to get onto the ballot. The filing deadline for next year’s council elections is May 1st, 2015.

Update: West Seattle Transportation Coalition votes to endorse transit-funding measure, but no position on monorail

October 14, 2014 at 9:06 pm | In Transportation, West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 11 Comments

Two toplines so far from tonight’s West Seattle Transportation Coalition meeting: WSTC voted to endorse the bus-funding measure on the November 4 ballot, officially Transportation Benefit District Proposition No. 1. And it voted NOT to endorse the monorail measure on the ballot, officially Seattle Citizen Petition No. 1. More to come.

ADDED WEDNESDAY MORNING: More toplines from the WSTC meeting:

Click to read the rest of Update: West Seattle Transportation Coalition votes to endorse transit-funding measure, but no position on monorail…

Election 2014: Not registered to vote? Deadline tomorrow

October 5, 2014 at 8:23 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | No Comments

checkbox.jpgThere’s a lot to decide in the November 4th election, now less than a month away – closer, really, since voting begins when ballots start arriving at mid-month. If you’re not registered and want to sign up online or by mail, tomorrow’s the deadline – here’s how to register (same goes for updating your address if you ARE registered). If you miss that, you’ll be able to register in person at the King County Elections offices in Seattle and Renton on September 27th – but why delay? Easiest way to do it is to sign up right here, right now.

Could Neighborhood Conservation Districts protect neighborhood ‘character’ amid rapid growth? Council discussion Monday

September 28, 2014 at 5:31 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 6 Comments

With relatively rapid redevelopment in parts of some Seattle neighborhoods – West Seattle, Ballard, Capitol Hill come to mind – concern percolates about losing “character.” In some cases, neighborhoods have special districts as “overlays” meant as an attempt to preserve some of that character – Pioneer Square, notably, and Capitol Hill’s Pike-Pine area, for example. But what about other neighborhoods, like West Seattle, where the Southwest District Council has been trying for two years to get a historic-resources survey going for part of our area, as a first step?

“Neighborhood Conservation Districts” might be a tool for our area and others, suggests Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, who is sponsoring a briefing on the concept tomorrow, during the first part of the City Council’s two-part Monday meeting. Here’s the slide deck they’ll be going through:

The presentation during tomorrow’s 9:30 am Council meeting (agenda here) will not include a vote – it’s just a briefing, and there’s no specific council bill attached to it. But Councilmember Rasmussen tells us, “If my colleagues agree, I will continue to work for legislation to establish a process for neighborhoods to nominate themselves to become Conservation Districts.” Tomorrow’s briefing should start around 10 am and will be live online and on cable via Seattle Channel.

Election 2014: Tom Rasmussen officially running in District 1

September 26, 2014 at 7:40 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | Comments Off

Sometime this week, since we last checked the city’s Elections and Ethics website, its list of candidates in next year’s elections switched to show the only City Councilmember living in West Seattle now running for its new council district. Tom Rasmussen had been listed there as “undesignated,” running for either one of the two at-large seats that will remain, or for District 1 (West Seattle/South Park), but now is listed as one of three candidates in that district, along with Chas Redmond and David Ishii. You can see all the declared-so-far council candidates (and city ballot measures) on the right sidebar of this page.

Election 2014: Gatewood forum Sunday on I-591, I-594

September 26, 2014 at 6:01 pm | In Gatewood, West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 2 Comments

With ballots going out in mid-October, the “November 4″ election is closer than it seems. Just announced by Rev. Erik Kindem from Peace Lutheran Church in Gatewood, a forum this Sunday on two of the statewide initiatives you’ll be voting on:

Peace Lutheran Church is hosting a forum on two firearms-related initiatives that will be on the ballot in November: I-594 (text here) and I-591 (text here).

. I-594 would expand current criminal background-check requirements to include all gun sales and transfers in Washington State with specific exceptions.

. I-591 would limit the circumstances in which firearms can be confiscated and would limit the ability of government agencies to require background checks.

Stacy Anderson from FAN (Faith Action Network) will be leading the forum, which will begin at 12 noon. Peace Lutheran is located at the corner of SW Thistle and 39th Avenue SW in West Seattle. Members of the public are invited to attend.

Update: Mayor presents budget proposal; West Seattle toplines – miniature-golf course, $ to finish Fauntleroy Boulevard design, keep SPD Mounted Patrol

September 22, 2014 at 2:06 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 20 Comments

2:06 PM: Click the “play” button above and you’ll get the live webcast, under way now, of Mayor Murray‘s budget speech to the City Council. We’ll be linking the documents and noting toplines here as it goes (and as we review the docs). **Update: Post-speech, window above now takes you to ARCHIVED video of speech**

BUDGET DOCUMENTS: Find them here. Wondering how to navigate them? That’s explained here. Direct link to the full budget is here.

From our first search for West Seattle mentions in that document:

*On page 28, our area described as a “current construction hub”
*On page 101, a miniature golf course to be installed at the West Seattle Golf Course in about a year
*On page 150, a renovation project is mentioned for the West Seattle (Admiral) Library Branch
*On page 414, $500,000 to finish design for the Fauntleroy Boulevard plan. (Remember, your Q/A/info opportunity is at tomorrow night’s open house – details in our newest update.)

2:22 PM: Those are just the outright “West Seattle” mentions; we’re now going through to look for what are certainly many other points of interest. The mayor, meantime, has spoken of reforming the budget process, of “coordination” in development reviews, of “ending the transportation-mode wars.” Speaking of transportation, more school-zone cameras are on the way (though specific locations are not noted). In public-safety and human services, he is proposing a new office to focus on domestic violence and sexual assault, and he has acknowledged that despite the city’s investment in helping homeless people, homelessness is not ending, and there has to be a better way.

(added) Another West Seattle note, from the SPD budget overview:

In addition, the proposed budget continues funding for maintenance staff and expenses associated with the SPD’s Horse Patrol Unit. Private resources will no longer be available to support the ongoing costs of this unit in 2015. Therefore, General Funds are being provided to continue this valuable public safety service.

The Mounted Patrol, you’ll recall, is based in Highland Park (and just had an open house on Saturday).

2:36 PM: The mayor’s speech has ended. We’re continuing to look for toplines. The council is in recess; we’ll substitute the archived video later when it’s available.

3:05 PM: Joe Szilagyi points out in comments that the budget includes money to fix the Schmitz Park Bridge.

3:57 PM: Replaced previous “live video” window above with embedded archived video of mayor’s speech.

5:12 PM: This is not West Seattle-specific, but likely of interest to many – from the Department of Planning and Development budget, page 248-249:

Seattle’s Design Review program is one of the principal opportunities for members of the public to interface with development projects. Design review is intended to influence the design of projects consistent with citywide and neighborhood-specific design guidelines. As development activity has increased, the Design Review program has come under increased scrutiny. A challenge identified during public participation in project review is that many communities are concerned about the direction of certain land use policies and have non design related concerns.

In response to these two issues, DPD will evaluate potential changes to the design review process and will explore new ways to improve public engagement in the planning and land use policy areas. The department will begin this work through surveys and focused public discussions with community stakeholders to gather information about the design review process, and will report on general findings. The department will evaluate, identify, and draft Land Use Code revisions based on this community work. The department will also begin a process to engage communities, provide information about growth and development issues, and provide opportunities for dialogue outside of the design review process. The work will be conducted through public meetings and online engagement, and be targeted toward different neighborhoods and demographics throughout the city. The pilot program will include citywide events with opportunities for dialogue, and will include feedback to community participants. This work will be done in 2015 and 2016 by shifting existing resources and revising the City Planning work program.

WHAT’S NEXT? The entire budget calendar for the next two months, including two major public hearings (neither in West Seattle), can be seen here.

Video: New partnership plan saves Greenbridge clinic, moves West Seattle Planned Parenthood clinic

September 15, 2014 at 4:07 pm | In Health, West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 1 Comment

At the surface, what brought King County Executive Dow Constantine, County Councilmember Joe McDermott, Public Health acting director Patty Hayes, Seattle Deputy Mayor Hyeok Kim, Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest CEO Chris Charbonneau, and others to White Center’s Greenbridge Plaza at noontime was news that a nearby county health clinic won’t have to close.

Their remarks are all featured in our video of the event, above, as well as what a clinic staffer and client had to say about the importance of saving the clinic. But what they explained in the media briefing wasn’t quite that simple:

*Mayor Murray’s proposed budget will include money for Greenbridge clinic operations (this was mentioned briefly in his Friday announcement about human-services and public-safety spending – the $ mentioned in that news release differs from what’s in today’s county news release, so we’re trying to verify which is correct)

*Planned Parenthood of the Great NW will take over family-planning services at the clinic, meaning layoffs for county-employed family-planning staffers unless they find jobs with PP

*As a result, PP will close its current West Seattle clinic (9641 28th SW) and merge its services into the Greenbridge location (9942 8th SW)

*County employees at the clinic will continue providing other services such as maternity support and Women/Infant/Children (WIC) nutrition support

Though Greenbridge is across the city/county line, it serves many Seattle residents, Constantine said, so city funding is appropriate. (The clinic relocated two years ago from its previous site about a mile south.) His plan for the clinic’s future will be in the budget proposal he presents one week from today.

P.S. The full county news release is part of coverage on our partner site White Center Now.

Video & as-it-happened coverage: Mayor Murray’s public-safety-spending plan, and how he’d address homelessness

September 12, 2014 at 12:08 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle police, West Seattle politics | 3 Comments

(Added – archived video of briefing)

TOPLINES:
-Mayor promises 50 more SPD officers will be on street by end of 2015
-100+ neighborhood “micropolicing” plans in the works
-Re: homeless encampment sweeps, he says policies haven’t changed since before he took office

(added) OFFICIAL NEWS RELEASE HERE

As-it-happened notes after the jump:

Click to read the rest of Video & as-it-happened coverage: Mayor Murray’s public-safety-spending plan, and how he’d address homelessness…

Yes on transit tax, yes on city’s preschool proposal, and other 34th District Democrats endorsement votes

September 11, 2014 at 3:58 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 18 Comments

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

It’s just a matter of weeks before your November ballot arrives – and it’s busier than you might think, as was evidenced when last night’s 34th District Democrats meeting in West Seattle, centered on ballot-measure discussions and endorsement votes, began with chair Marcee Stone-Vekich warning, “It’s going to be a long night.”

Here are highlights from the ensuing two hours:

PRESCHOOL PROPOSITIONS: There are two on the Seattle ballot, 1A and 1B, in one measure – you’ll be asked if you think either should be approved, and then, regardless of how you answered that, which one you would prefer. Each one had a presentation at last night’s meeting, followed by both sides sitting down as a panel to answer questions. We recorded video:

Click to read the rest of Yes on transit tax, yes on city’s preschool proposal, and other 34th District Democrats endorsement votes…

Video & as-it-happened coverage: ‘Impact fees’ for development? City Councilmembers discuss possibly doing what 80 other WA cities already do

September 10, 2014 at 12:05 pm | In Development, West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 19 Comments

(UPDATED WEDNESDAY NIGHT with archived Seattle Channel video of meeting added below, document links added inline, new Rasmussen quote at end)

POST-MEETING TOPLINES:
-Council told that 80 other WA cities have impact fees
-State law doesn’t allow them to be imposed for transit service, though
-Councilmember Rasmussen suggests creating a ‘working group’ to look at it
-Most public commenters say ‘long overdue’

ADDED WEDNESDAY NIGHT:
-Above, full video of meeting
-Meeting documents, provided by Rasmussen’s office *adding*
-Added quote at end of story – we asked him “what next?” post-meeting

AHEAD: Our as-it-happened chronicling of what was said during the meeting:

Click to read the rest of Video & as-it-happened coverage: ‘Impact fees’ for development? City Councilmembers discuss possibly doing what 80 other WA cities already do…

Mayor proposes new city department: Education & Early Learning

September 2, 2014 at 2:24 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 9 Comments

Announced by Mayor Murray this afternoon:

As parents ready their kids for the first week of school, Mayor Ed Murray today unveiled his plan to reorganize of the city’s education and support programs into a new Department of Education and Early Learning (DEEL), the first of several proposals the mayor will make in his first city budget.

The new structure will enable the city to better coordinate existing work and resources on behalf of students of all ages, improve collaboration with Seattle Public Schools, colleges and child-care providers, and increase performance measurement of the city’s work to support educational outcomes.

Click to read the rest of Mayor proposes new city department: Education & Early Learning…

2 nights away: ‘Luau at the Lake’ with the 34th District Democrats

August 13, 2014 at 9:53 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | Comments Off

We’ve had some tropical weather this week – warm, muggy – and sunshine should return in time for a tropical-themed event Friday night: The 34th District Democrats‘ annual Garden Party dinner/auction. This year, it’s the “Luau at the Lake,” in honor of its new location: The Technology Access Foundation‘s new Bethaday Community Space in Lakewood Park (605 SW 108th). The 34th DDs are advertising the event on WSB for one last ticket-sales push. See “10 reasons to go” here. Auction items include a flotilla of vacation possibilities on which you’ll be able to bid, including one week on Maui or Kauai; if you’d like to stay closer to home, how about three nights at Long Beach, Washington, or a getaway to Whistler, or even a quick jaunt over to Vashon Island for lunch with local legislators? The party starts at 6 pm Friday (August 15th) and you can RSVP online by going here, or call Karen Chilcutt at 206-935-3216.

Sound Transit light rail for West Seattle? Another discussion, this time @ City Hall

August 12, 2014 at 2:48 pm | In Transportation, West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 73 Comments

Cup-half-full version: West Seattle could have light rail as soon as 2026.

Cup-half-empty version: West Seattle won’t get light rail any sooner than 2026.

That was the bottom line of a briefing that was part of the City Council Transportation Committee‘s meeting this morning. Potential West Seattle light rail wasn’t the only topic – in fact, it was the last part of the Sound Transit guest appearance, which in turn was only part of a busy agenda (above is Seattle Channel‘s video of the entire meeting – the briefing starts 35 minutes in). The briefing followed the order of the slide deck. And however you view that potential date, it would depend on West Seattle being written into Sound Transit’s Long-Range Plan when it’s updated later this year; it didn’t make it into the plan previously, ST reiterated today, because of the since-scrapped plan for monorail service between West Seattle and downtown.

The slide deck itself didn’t contain the potential 2026 date – West Seattle-residing Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, who chairs the committee, asked for a date, and all ST reps would give him was that 2016 would be the earliest a “Sound Transit 3″ measure could go before voters. Perhaps a “board member” could speculate further, they said, with all eyes turning to Councilmember Mike O’Brien, a board member who happened to be right there at the table.

Click to read the rest of Sound Transit light rail for West Seattle? Another discussion, this time @ City Hall…

Election 2014: 2nd vote count widens lead for Park District measure

August 6, 2014 at 4:44 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle parks, West Seattle politics | 34 Comments

Quick note in case you’re wondering: The second ballot-count update is out for the August 5th election, and the proposal to create a Seattle Park District has widened its lead a bit. Last night, the yes vote was 52.4 percent; today, it’s 52.7 percent. Next ballot-count update will be out by this time tomorrow.

Election 2014: Seattle Park District, North Highline Fire District ballot measures passing

August 5, 2014 at 9:05 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 6 Comments

While thousands partied in the streets for just-concluded Night Out 2014, the first round of election results came in. Seattle Proposition 1, to create a Park District, is passing, 52.4 percent to 47.6 percent:

Only a simple majority is needed for passage. Next door in North Highline (White Center and vicinity), the NH Fire District “benefit charge” measure is passing, 69.8 percent to 31.2 percent – this requires 60 percent approval. Here’s the full list of election results from around King County; next ballot count will be out ~4:30 pm tomorrow.

17 questions from Councilmember Rasmussen for new SDOT boss Scott Kubly; anything missing?

July 25, 2014 at 3:11 pm | In Transportation, West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 9 Comments

A short time ago, Scott Kubly, Mayor Murray’s choice for SDOT director, tweeted that he’s arrived:

Next month, he faces confirmation hearings before the City Council. The chair of its Transportation Committee, West Seattle-residing Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, shared with us the questions he wants Kubly to answer. See them here. You’ll note that they include a request for Kubly to review the June 10th five-hour, four-mile Highway 99 crash-investigation-related closure (here’s our most-recent followup) and whether policies should be changed as a result. But that’s just one of 17 questions Rasmussen has asked Kubly to answer by August 5th, in advance of his August 12th hearing. Anything you think he’s missing?

After 2+ years, new monorail initiative reported to be ballot-bound

July 24, 2014 at 5:20 pm | In Transportation, West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 43 Comments

In spring 2012, we reported on activist Elizabeth Campbell‘s proposal for a new monorail company, to be called the Century Transportation Authority, CenTran for short, with a line running from Ballard to West Seattle, like the last monorail proposal. Haven’t heard much about it in the interim, but today, PubliCola reports that Campbell has gathered enough valid signatures – just under 4,600 – to get this on the Seattle ballot in November. If voters say yes, CenTran’s website says, it would start out with a $5 license-tab tax to raise money to plan the monorail system.

Election 2014: No minimum-wage referendum on November ballot; meantime, 2 weeks left to cast your August vote

July 22, 2014 at 7:55 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 5 Comments

checkbox.jpgTwo election-related notes tonight:

First, King County Elections announced today that both proposed referendum measures related to the Seattle minimum-wage law have failed to make the ballot. 16,510 valid signatures were needed to make the ballot; the petitions by a group called Forward Seattle had 14,818, while another petition drive, by (corrected) Save Our Choice, had fewer than 500 valid signatures.

Second, ballots are due in two weeks for the August 5th election. Yours should have arrived by now – check with the county if you haven’t received it. It’s not just a primary – there is one major ballot measure, the proposal to create a Seattle Park District with permanent taxing authority for city-parks funding beyond the annual general-fund spending. The most recent forum on the measure in our area was at July’s Admiral Neighborhood Association meeting; here’s our coverage.

P.S. If you don’t want to spend postage money to send in your ballot, there are other options, including ballot-dropoff vans in West Seattle and White Center on August 2nd, 4th, and 5th.

Updates: President Obama’s four-and-a-half-hour Seattle visit

July 22, 2014 at 3:00 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 55 Comments

3 PM: President Obama is expected to land at nearby Boeing Field around 3:15 pm, according to regional media; if you recall, the Boeing Field advisory linked here Monday opened the window at 3 pm. There’s widespread confirmation today that he’ll be headed to two Democratic Party fundraisers. First one’s in Madrona, which means I-5 traffic stopdowns (including exits from the West Seattle Bridge to I-5); second one is in Hunts Point – The Seattle Times (WSB partner) even published the invitation. Then he is expected to fly out by about 7:30. We’ll add updates here.\

(Tweet from Times political reporter Jim Brunner)
3:07 PM UPDATE: Air Force One has just landed, per live TV streams. (Here’s the link to KING 5.)

3:17 PM UPDATE: A prominent West Seattleite is at Boeing Field to help greet the president, according to KING’s Linda Brill on the live feed linked above – King County Executive Dow Constantine.

3:26 PM UPDATE: Motorcade is on the move now, after the President spent a few minutes shaking hands at Boeing Field.


Here’s more info on the not-public party-fundraiser dinner that will be his second stop.

3:46 PM UPDATE: The presidential motorcade has arrived in Madrona.


His second event, dinner in Hunts Point, is scheduled to start at 5 pm, so we’ll update when we hear that move is on. His return to Boeing Field is likely ~7-ish.

5:04 PM UPDATE: That next motorcade move is reportedly about to start – Madrona to Hunts Point.

5:39 PM UPDATE: Apparently the preparedness starts way in advance. TV people on the ground are tweeting that the trip between locations is under way *now*. (Added: He is reported to have arrived in HP around 5:50 pm. Next leg of the motorcade will be back to Boeing Field in an hour or so.)

7:11 PM UPDATE: Per regional media, the motorcade is either on the move again or about to be. (Added: Now departing:)


7:32 PM UPDATE: The motorcade has arrived at Boeing Field.

7:43 PM UPDATE: And Air Force One is off, headed for San Francisco. As outlined in the Boeing Field advisory published Monday, he was on the ground here for four and a half hours.

9:42 PM UPDATE: For details of what the president said at his first stop, there’s a full report up on The Seattle Lesbian by its founder, West Seattle journalist Sarah Toce.

Followup: Mayor tells police to stand down in post-foreclosure West Seattle eviction case of Byron and Jean Barton

July 21, 2014 at 8:51 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle people, West Seattle politics | 79 Comments

(Friday photos by WSB’s Patrick Sand: Above, deputies carrying Byron Barton from his home)
New development today in a West Seattle family’s quest to stay in their foreclosed-on-and-auctioned-off home. On Friday, we chronicled a day of tumultuous activity at the 41st/Holly home of disabled veteran Byron Barton and wife Jean Barton, a day that started with King County Sheriff’s Office reps removing them from the house, which they then defiantly re-entered, continuing to keep vigil with local activists. That evening, Seattle Police and the local City Attorney’s Office precinct liaison arrived, but ultimately left after concluding nothing would be done that night.

(Friday evening WSB photo)
This morning, the activists went to City Hall to ask the mayor and council to tell SPD to stand down – several also spoke during open-comment time at this afternoon’s City Council meeting – and this evening, Mayor Murray sent this statement:

We are attempting to understand all options that may exist in this situation and I have asked Chief O’Toole and the Seattle Police Department to stand by while the latest court proceedings unwind.

An interdepartmental team has been working on the issue of foreclosure and how the City of Seattle can proactively connect residents to resources early in the process. I’ve pledged the City of Seattle’s participation in the Mayors Challenge to End Veterans Homelessness in 2015, and will launch a separate process to address homelessness and increase housing affordability in the months ahead, one of my visions toward making Seattle an affordable city.

“In Washington State, we’ve seen recent victories such as the 2011 Washington State Foreclosure Fairness Act, which I worked on closely, designed to help homeowners and their lenders explore alternatives to foreclosure and reach a resolution when possible. I’m committed to working with all stakeholders, using this and other alternatives in the work Seattle does on housing affordability.”

The City of Seattle and Washington State have resources to help homeowners avoid default and work out repayment plans in order to stay in their homes, or gain enough time to sell their homes on their own terms: http://www.seattle.gov/housing/buying/ForeclosurePrevention.htm and commerce.wa.gov/Programs/housing/Foreclosure/Pages/default.aspx

The Bartons have a lawsuit pending, alleging the foreclosure – which had been in the works at least since 2012, according to court documents we have found so far – was illegal. The development company that bought their house in an April auction has sued for “unlawful detainer” – seeking to have the Bartons removed. The situation that led to foreclosure is complicated; while the house has been in Byron Barton’s family for more than 60 years, changes in the family put it back under a mortgage. P.S. How long this will take to play out in the courts is unknown – the civil system doesn’t always move quickly, and the current trial date for the Bartons’ lawsuit (filed in May) isn’t until June of next year.

TUESDAY MORNING, 9:22 AM: A commenter asked about the Sheriff’s Office role/responsibility at this point. We asked KCSO spokesperson Sgt. DB Gates, who replied:

The eviction was completed and our involvement in serving that eviction order is over.

The legal owners of the house are always able to return to court and get another civil order which would compel our department to act. I’m unaware of any filings or movement on that topic.

Our departments stand is the eviction was completed, anyone reoccupying that house is committing a crime. At least trespass, if not burglary.

It is now up to the local police agency to enforce those crimes.

More information about President Obama’s Seattle visit Tuesday

July 21, 2014 at 3:37 pm | In Transportation, West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 22 Comments

(LOOKING FOR NEWEST INFO ABOUT PRESIDENTIAL VISIT? GO HERE)

(WSB photo of Air Force One at Boeing Field, July 2012)
Even if they don’t include public events, presidential visits are usually of high interest for reasons including traffic effects and Air Force One sightings. So here’s the latest information about President Obama‘s planned Seattle visit tomorrow (Tuesday, July 22nd): Boeing Field has just published an advisory that confirms Air Force One will be landing there. While some of the ground and air restrictions in the advisory span the time period of noon to 8 pm, most of what’s listed suggests that the heart of the visit will be in the 3-7:30 pm vicinity. No open-to-the-public events have been announced; the visit is reported to be fundraising only, including, according to SeattleTimes.com, an event in Madrona. If any more information emerges tonight, we’ll update this item, and as always we’ll have the key points in our daily traffic watch first thing in the morning.

More transit news: Seattle Metro-money measure is ballot-bound

July 17, 2014 at 4:56 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 12 Comments

The City Council, wearing its Transportation Benefit District hat, voted this afternoon to ask voters to approve a sales-tax increase and car-tab fee to raise money to avoid Seattle Metro cuts. The alternate proposal by Councilmembers Nick Licata and Kshama Sawant, for a “head tax” and commercial-parking-tax increase, might be worth taking up in the future, they were told; Sawant retorted that if now isn’t the time for those “progressive” taxes, when is? The sales-tax/tab-fee measure is headed for the November 4th ballot is more or less the same one that lost April’s countywide vote despite winning two-thirds approval within the city limits.

Create a Seattle Park District? Days before ballots arrive, yes/no sides make their cases to Admiral Neighborhood Association

July 10, 2014 at 5:48 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle parks, West Seattle politics | 13 Comments

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

When the August 5th ballot arrives in your mailbox next week, it will include one major issue for you to decide: How will the City of Seattle raise extra money for its park system from here on out?

In recent years, the city has done that by taking a levy/bond measure to the public every so often. The most recent one was the 2008 Parks and Green Spaces Levy, which expires this year.

But what the city’s asking you to approve this time has no expiration date. If you approve Seattle Proposition 1, you’ll be voting to support creation of a permanent Park District with taxing authority – no further votes needed.

The Admiral Neighborhood Association spent most of its July meeting on a mini-forum about Proposition 1 – with some pointed questions, and responses.

Click to read the rest of Create a Seattle Park District? Days before ballots arrive, yes/no sides make their cases to Admiral Neighborhood Association…

Seattle tax alternatives for transit, North Highline ballot measure, more @ 34th District Democrats:

July 10, 2014 at 9:00 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 22 Comments

Toplines from last night’s 34th District Democrats meeting, from transit funding to ballot measures:


TRANSIT-TAX ALTERNATIVE: Councilmember Nick Licata pitched the proposal for an employer “head tax” and increased commercial-parking tax to raise money to prevent Metro cuts in Seattle, instead of a sales-tax hike. He said there are “three strong arguments” for it – first, reliability, since sales tax is vulnerable “to downturns in our economy” but the commercial-parking tax continued to grow even during the recession years; second, he said, “it’s a stronger connection” between saving transit and parking vehicles; third, the sales tax makes the already-regressive tax situation even more regressive, and Licata thinks the city “keeps going back and back” to the sales-tax well too often. The main argument against it, he said, is that “the business community will say, why are you burdening us?” when the minimum-wage increase already is going to affect businesses and when it might make Seattle look like a bad place to do business.

Click to read the rest of Seattle tax alternatives for transit, North Highline ballot measure, more @ 34th District Democrats:…

‘Head tax’ and parking tax for transit? Councilmember Licata pitches 34th District Democrats on Wednesday

July 8, 2014 at 10:38 pm | In Transportation, West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 22 Comments

If Seattle’s going to increase taxes to raise money to avoid bus cuts, which (if any) taxes would you prefer? As reported here two months ago, Councilmembers Nick Licata and Kshama Sawant are proposing commercial parking and employer “head” taxes instead of the sales-tax increase favored by Mayor Murray. Licata will be at the 34th District Democrats‘ meeting at The Hall at Fauntleroy tomorrow night to pitch the idea and seek the group’s endorsement, after the proposal comes up for a discussion and possible vote by the Council Finance and Culture Committee (which he chairs) at 2 pm – read the proposal here. In short, the proposal would raise commercial-parking taxes 5 percent, to 17.5%, and create a “head tax” of $18 per employee per year. The council could pass it without sending it to voters. Here’s the resolution the 34th Dems will consider at their meeting; the agenda is here.)

Questions for local politicians and elected officials? West Seattle Chamber/GSBA event tomorrow

July 8, 2014 at 2:54 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 1 Comment

Today is the deadline for advance registration for an event tomorrow night offering you the chance to mix, mingle, and chat one-on-one with more than 20 candidates/elected officials from around the region. It’s co-presented by the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Seattle Business Association, 5:30-7:30 pm Wednesday at The Sanctuary at Admiral (42nd/Lander). We checked with WS Chamber CEO Lynn Dennis to find out about the format and who has RSVP’d. She confirms, no political speeches – but if you want to do a bit more than just wander around the room, a “bingo-mingle card” will be offered with suggestions of who to look for, including West Seattle business owners (fill in 5 of the 9 bingo squares and you’ll be able to enter a drawing for free airline tickets from Alaska/Horizon Air, the event sponsor). Click ahead for the list of who’s RSVP’d, who’s likely, and how to get a ticket (with the discount rate for WSCC/GSBA members expiring end-of-day today):
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