First SW Charlestown, next SW Genesee closing for road work

April 10, 2014 at 2:29 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 9 Comments

Just in from SDOT – another steep stretch of street in West Seattle is about to get some work:

Next week, SW Genesee Street will be closed between SW Avalon Way and 30th Avenue SW from 9 a.m. Monday, April 14 through 6 p.m. Friday, April 18. During the closure of the steep West Seattle hill, the Seattle Department of Transportation will repair several worn concrete panels.

Local access will be allowed, however, all other traffic will be detoured to the nearest arterials. Eastbound motorists on SW Genesee Street will be detoured northbound on SW Avalon Way to lower S Spokane Street, east on Spokane to Delridge Way SW and then southbound on Delridge to SW Genesee Street. Westbound traffic on SW Genesee Street will follow the detour in reverse – drivers will head northbound on Delridge Way SW, west on lower S Spokane Street, and south on SW Avalon Way to Genesee. The work is weather-dependent.

3:06 PM SIDE NOTE: A comment reminds us, both this project and the Charlestown work were on a list of SDOT’s 2014 plans for West Seattle, published here after we requested the information in January. If you missed it then (or forgot), see it here.

3:30 PM: Thanks to Mike for sharing the Metro Route 50 reroute notice for this work – see it here.

TLC for river and its watershed: Duwamish Alive! on April 19th

April 10, 2014 at 1:33 pm | In Environment, How to help, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

View Duwamish Alive! 2014 in a larger map

The spring edition of Duwamish Alive! – one big 12-site work party to help the river and its watershed – is just nine days away, and it’s prime time for you to choose where you can and will help out 10 am-2 pm on Saturday, April 19th. Each tree on the map (note that two overlap) marks a specific site from West Seattle to Tukwila; once you’ve chosen a site, sign up by going here (note that West Seattle’s own Roxhill Bog is in particular need). If you need more convincing, here’s what Duwamish Alive! is all about.

Another ramp? Light rail on the bridge? Road repairs? West Seattle Transportation Coalition’s Q&A with SDOT

April 10, 2014 at 11:13 am | In Transportation, West Seattle news | 15 Comments

(Some miss the 4th Avenue onramp that’s been gone 21 years. This sign was still up in 2008.)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Hours after announcing that it has a rep on the city’s advisory committee for choosing a new SDOT director, the West Seattle Transportation Coalition put two of the department’s managers in the hot seat for a special round of Q & A.

Bob Chandler, assistant SDOT director, came to the WSTC’s meeting Tuesday night to answer questions (while noting that he’s retiring in two months), and was joined midway through by a fellow SDOT staffer, Bill LaBorde.

The questions were asked by various WSTC interim-board members and other meeting participants.

Unless you see quotation marks, the Q/A are our summaries/paraphrases, not direct quotes.

Q: Is it possible to add a West Seattle-bound 4th Avenue onramp to the newly widened Spokane Street Viaduct, like the one that was closed more than 20 years ago?

Click to read the rest of Another ramp? Light rail on the bridge? Road repairs? West Seattle Transportation Coalition’s Q&A with SDOT…

1 month until West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day! 100+ sales so far, as signups continue

April 10, 2014 at 10:30 am | In Community Garage Sale Day, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

(WSB photo from West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day 2013)
Got stuff you just don’t need any more, ready for person-to-person recycling so it becomes somebody else’s treasure? Exactly one month from today, it’s the 10th annual West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day – 9 am-3 pm Saturday, May 10th, sales of all sizes all around West Seattle. WSB is coordinating the big day again this year, as we have since the 4th edition, and we opened registration last week; more than 100 sales are on the lineup so far – thanks to everyone who’s jumped in already! We also have group-sale sites signed up for Hotwire Online Coffeehouse and C & P Coffee Company again this year (both WSB sponsors; please inquire directly with those businesses about getting space there if you don’t have space for your own sale). April 23rd is the registration deadline, to give us enough time to make the Garage Sale Day Guide/Map so that it’s available a week in advance, but don’t procrastinate – if you know you’re having a sale, please go here to sign up.

West Seattle Thursday: First Art Walk of spring! Free shredding! Free co-working! Genesee-Schmitz NC meeting! More…

April 10, 2014 at 9:45 am | In West Seattle news, WS miscellaneous | No Comments

(Mahonia in bloom, by Don Brubeck, from the WSB Flickr group)

Here’s just some of what’s up today/tonight – you’ll find lots more (including the days/weeks ahead) on the calendar:

FREE CO-WORKING: Working at home today? Pack up and head over to West Seattle Office Junction (WSB sponsor) to see what co-working is like. It’s “free co-working week” in honor of the grand opening at WSOJ’s new, expanded location in Morgan Junction. (6040-B California SW)

METRO Q/A @ WEST SEATTLE CHAMBER: 11:30 am at The Kenney (WSB sponsor), as previewed here, the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce‘s monthly lunch meeting includes a Q/A forum with Metro Transit reps, less than two weeks before ballots are due for the special election to raise $ for transit and roads. Here’s an update on who’s expected to take part. (7125 Fauntleroy Way SW)

FREE SHREDDING: 2-6 pm at High Point Branch Library, free shredding! Details in our calendar listing. (35th/Raymond)

TALK WITH COUNCILMEMBER RASMUSSEN: West Seattle-residing City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen is having a series of “Little City Hall” conversation events around the area and today, you’ll find him at Southwest Library, 2-4 pm. (35th/Henderson)

DEMONSTRATION OUTSIDE MORGAN STARBUCKS: Thanks to Diane for pointing out that the minimum-wage-increase-supporting group 15 Now is starting a series of demonstrations outside local Starbucks stores with one at 5 pm today in Morgan Junction. (California/Fauntleroy)

WEST SEATTLE ART WALK: The spring quarter begins with a new venue list/map!

6-9 pm, stop by any or all of the participating businesses and enjoy art, often with a chance to meet the artist(s), usually with refreshments. Preview venues on the official site at

GENESEE-SCHMITZ NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCIL: General meeting at 7 pm tonight, West Seattle Presbyterian Church auditorium. Emergency preparedness is part of the agenda; details on the GSNC website. (3601 California SW)

West Seattle Cup: You in? Registration open now; team captains’ applications due tomorrow

April 10, 2014 at 9:02 am | In Fun stuff to do, West Seattle news, WS & Sports | No Comments

The West Seattle Cup soccer tournament/festival for local kids and families continues to take shape. We first mentioned it here in January – and now it’s just two months away. From organizer Terry Kegel:

Wanna meet Clint Dempsey, shake hands with your favorite Sounders players, and do a victory lap in front of 40,000 fans at CenturyLink field? 64 lucky parents and children will get this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. How? Sign up by this Friday to be a captain in the West Seattle Cup! The West Seattle Cup is a free World Cup-style soccer tournament and community festival for elementary-age children and their parents taking place at Walt Hundley Playfield in High Point on June 14th-15th, 2014. The event is FREE, thanks to a grant from the Department of Neighborhoods awarded to community projects, in addition to donations from local businesses.

All 448 participants get free t-shirts and other prizes. The 64 team captains must apply by this Friday to get free Sounders tickets and the VIP field pass to meet the players right after the game. Do you have an elementary-age child? Choose your country and register as a parent-child duo online at or in-person at the West Seattle YMCA or
Neighborhood House High Point Center. Learn more at or on Facebook.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Thursday updates; fuel spill on the bridge

April 10, 2014 at 6:59 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 2 Comments

(Latest bridge and Viaduct views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
6:59 AM: All’s relatively well so far on the routes through/out of West Seattle. One big reminder for today, if you are driving the eastbound bridge between rush hours: Eastbound Spokane Street Viaduct surface-repair work is scheduled for 10 am-4 pm. We also updated the SW Charlestown closure on Wednesday – the city has changed the detour plan a bit; here’s the latest.

BRIDGE PROBLEM REPORTED, 7:56 AM: Trouble on the eastbound bridge and a text we just received might explain why: A truck is reported to have leaked/spilled fuel from the “Delridge merge” to 1st Avenue South. Fire crews are on the scene.

8:22 AM: The fire call for the spill has closed, and SDOT tells us via Twitter that it wasn’t major:

911 system problems: Use alternate number 206-583-2111 if needed

April 10, 2014 at 6:33 am | In West Seattle news | 1 Comment

6:33 AM: After some early-morning problems with much of the state’s 911 system are reported this morning, some of the service is reported to be coming back online. But – if you have an emergency inside Seattle city limits and cannot get through, the recommended alternate number is 206-583-2111. Your mobile phone might get through even where a land line doesn’t, so you can also try that.

7:59 AM: Regional media quotes CenturyLink as saying service is fully restored.

High-school baseball: Shutout win for West Seattle Wildcats

April 10, 2014 at 6:30 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | 2 Comments

(Cameron & Morgan get the scoring started with back-to-back hits)
Thanks to Greg Slader for the photos and report on West Seattle High School‘s Wednesday afternoon 4-0 win:

(Graham French driving in a run, with a hit down the 3rd-base line)

West Seattle Baseball snaps their 3-year losing streak at Nathan Hale as the offense steps up and scores runs on clutch two-out hits. Ben Wexler threw a complete game on 73 pitches as the Defense made all the plays. Next game is Friday against Nathan Hale at Hiawatha, 3:30 pm.

Lights out? Stuff dumped? 2 new options for city’s ‘Find It, Fix It’ problem-reporting app

April 9, 2014 at 9:52 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle online | 9 Comments

Quick update about the city’s Find It, Fix It app, which you can use to report various problems via your smartphone. From the announcement:

… Smartphone users now can use the app to report illegal dumping and streetlight outages, in addition to abandoned vehicles, graffiti, potholes and parking enforcement issues, which have been features of the app since it launched in August 2013. …

Since its launch last summer, Find It, Fix It has been downloaded to 6,350 mobile devices and users have submitted 6,393 requests through this new channel (graffiti, 2,551; other, 1,744; pothole, 1,012; abandoned vehicles, 558; and parking enforcement, 528).

Don’t have it? You can download it by going here.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Have you seen Ellen’s bike? Also: Car theft tonight

April 9, 2014 at 8:04 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

8:04 PM: Ellen‘s 2004 Trek 520 touring bike was stolen at 35th and Graham last weekend, and she’s offering a reward for its return.

· Dark green frame.
· Black fenders.
· Black back rack.
· Red bell.
· Right shifter bent.
· Pedals flat on one side/clips on other.
· Hand-built wheels.
· Three water bottle cages.
· Italian flag & $0.00 yellow stickers on back.
· Sentimental value.

40,000 miles ridden.

Please contact 206.297.1114 or 425.503.3262 –

Or police.

ADDED 9:16 PM: We’ve just received a text about a white 1991 Honda Accord stolen a short time ago in Highland Park.

Awaiting a little more information – but in the meantime, if you see it, please call 911.

ADDED 10:41 PM: The car’s owner says the theft happened near 11th and Holden.

ADDED THURSDAY AFTERNOON: The car’s been found (outside WS) – but “trashed,” the owner reports.

Happening now: Help shape the plan for Seattle (in) 2035

April 9, 2014 at 6:07 pm | In Development, West Seattle news | 5 Comments

6:07 PM: Just under way at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center (4408 Delridge Way SW), the first West Seattle meeting/open house in the Seattle 2035 planning process. As explained on the city website:

In 1994, Seattle’s first Comprehensive Plan was passed with the idea of creating Urban Villages. This strategy designated certain neighborhoods as Urban Centers or Urban Villages and encouraged new housing, jobs, and transit towards these centers. Our goal was to make neighborhoods where people could easily walk, bike, or ride transit to get to work, go out to eat, or buy groceries. By concentrating growth in this way we also were able to more efficiently provide services and proactively plan for the future.

The Seattle 2035 update will look at current growth projections and present different scenarios to the public on how we can adapt the Urban Villages strategy to leverage growth to the benefit of the city. We will be looking at things like where Seattleites live, where we work, how we get around the city, do we have enough public services, are there equal opportunities for every community, and how to protect our environment.

Be part of it. Stop by Youngstown before 8 pm. Here’s how else to have a say.

6:38 PM: At the meeting right now – it’s VERY casual.

Easels around the Youngstown theater, a table with some literature, a few city people to answer your questions, big pads to write your thoughts on. Transportation mobility/accessibility is a big topic. And of course this isn’t JUST for West Seattleites – as we’re reminded, noting that one piece of paper includes a comment about Ballard (“Density in Ballard is great, but worried about the ‘canyon’ on Market St.”).

P.S. Youngstown’s director David Bestock was at the meeting and suggested we check out the youth-music showcase next door.

It was the Totem Star program’s Spring Mixer + Open Mic. Sounded great! As for the meeting – still a trickle of turnout by the time we left; here are the three alternatives the city is mulling as it prepares an environmental-impact statement as the first outcome of this process. Consider letting them know what you think.

West Seattle Crime Watch followup: Rider-thwarted RapidRide robber Trevonnte Brown pleads guilty

April 9, 2014 at 4:47 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news | 46 Comments

(11/25/2013 photo by WSB co-publisher Patrick Sand)
4:47 PM: Another high-profile Morgan Junction crime case has a major development today: 19-year-old Trevonnte Brown has pleaded guilty as charged to robbery and attempted robbery, according to the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. He’s the Beacon Hill man arrested last November after passengers stopped his robbery rampage aboard a RapidRide bus near California/Graham; their takedown of the robber was seen in video made public weeks later. Brown’s plea also included an earlier bus-robbery incident. Prosecutors will recommend a top-of-the-range sentence, 13 1/2 years, when Brown is sentenced on May 30th.

ADDED WEDNESDAY EVENING: We’ve downloaded the court documents for more details on the plea agreement. The recommended sentence consists of 8 1/2 years plus the five-year “enhancement” for his use of a gun. In addition, though prosecutors point out he is pleading guilty as charged, the documents note that they have agreed not to charge him in additional incidents in which he was suspected.

West Seattle road work: Detour change for Charlestown closure

April 9, 2014 at 3:30 pm | In Transportation, West Seattle news | 10 Comments

We went over to check on the SW Charlestown (46th-47th SW) hill panel-replacement road work as its second day continued. The city has changed the detour plan:

Eastbound travelers on SW Charlestown will be detoured northbound on 49th Avenue SW to Admiral Way and then east to California Avenue SW. Westbound motorists will be detoured southbound on California Avenue SW to SW Oregon Street then west on Oregon to 55th Avenue SW and then north to SW Charlestown Street.

The concrete-panel replacement on the steep section of Charlestown is scheduled to continue through next Tuesday. Here’s a closer look:

If you missed it in the comment discussion following a previous story, we took a followup question to SDOT, which explained this is a precursor to future work:

There are several damaged concrete panels that we are repairing ahead of contracted concrete grinding work that will take place in May. The grinding will improve traction on the worn panels, which are largely on a steep slope and have areas of exposed aggregate that greatly reduce traction when wet or icy. The grinding is the driving factor here. From a cost and effectiveness standpoint it is best to repair the damaged panels ahead of that process. Here is a photo so readers can see the condition of the panels.

West Seattle development, mapped: 3,272 units planned, under construction, almost done, recently opened…

April 9, 2014 at 12:44 pm | In Development, West Seattle news | 43 Comments

View West Seattle Blog maps development projects of at least 15 units in a larger map

For those asking about “the big picture,” we’ve been promising for a LONG time to update the WSB map of planned (and recently completed) West Seattle development, and after a few weeks of on-and-off work have just finished it today, which happens to be the same day as the Seattle 2035 first West Seattle open house, an opportunity to start having a say in the city’s future planning – whatever you think about what’s happening (or not happening) right now, whatever you think about what should happen (or not) in the future.

What you see above are markers for every planned/under construction/almost done/recently opened (within the past year) development of 15 units or more that we know of – via the city Department of Planning and Development‘s maps and project pages, via our coverage of projects as they go through Design Review, via what’s under construction now, and so on. We count 3,272 units (of multiple types). If you find something wrong or missing, please let us know! We have a side story or two in the works. We recommend viewing the map full-page on the Google Maps site, which you can do by clicking the little blue link beneath it (or go here). The markers overlap in the Junction/Triangle/Avalon areas, so you have to zoom in if you want to see them all in the version above. As with any G-map, you can also grab it and pan around.

Meantime, if you missed it in our West Seattle Wednesday daily-highlights list, get the info here about tonight’s Seattle 2035 open house – 6-8 pm at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, 4408 Delridge Way SW.

Another side note: Two of our fellow online-neighborhood-news publications have published similar maps for their neighborhoods. Just in case you’re interested, we’re linking them here:

*Capitol Hill development (from
*Northeast Seattle development (from

West Seattle Wednesday: ‘You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown’; WS open house for ‘Seattle 2035′; more

April 9, 2014 at 10:12 am | In West Seattle news, WS miscellaneous | 2 Comments

Thanks to Steve for the photo from West Seattle High School‘s “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown,” one of five calendar highlights for today/tonight:

WSHS DRAMA PRESENTS … “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” – featuring Charles Schulz‘s classic “Peanuts” characters – is onstage for three more nights – tonight, tomorrow, Friday – at the West Seattle High School Theater, 7:30 pm nightly. Go have a good time while showing support for students in the artists (every performer craves an audience, and that means you!) Details on the WSHS Drama Club website. (3000 California SW)

Also today/tonight:

PATHFINDER BENEFIT @ MARINATION: 4 pm-close, go dine at Marination ma kai (WSB sponsor) and support Pathfinder K-8 school! P.S. MMK has just launched its new spring/summer hours, and some new decor, as shown on its FB page. (1660 Harbor SW)

GROWTH/DEVELOPMENT/SEATTLE’S FUTURE: What’s the big picture? What do you think about the current policies and how or whether they should change? The city’s Seattle 2035 process, revisiting the “Comprehensive Plan,” is under way, and even if you’re not a meeting person, THIS is wehre to get involved if you are interested in, concerned about, supportive of, opposed to, have ANY sentiment about growth/development. The first West Seattle open house – at which you can ask questions, share comments, or just find out more – is 6-8 pm tonight, Youngstown Cultural Arts Center. (4408 Delridge Way SW)

POT, PARKS @ 34TH DISTRICT DEMOCRATS: 7 pm at The Hall at Fauntleroy, as previewed here last weekend, hot topics on the agenda for the 34th District Democrats‘ monthly meeting include marijuana – where do things stand re: the future of medical cannabis once the recreational stores start opening? among other issues – and parks funding (will a Parks District go to the ballot this year?). More on the organization’s website. (9131 California SW)

COMEDY COMPETITION: Need a laugh? Maybe MORE than one? Second round in the comedy competition at the Feedback Lounge (WSB sponsor), 9 pm – details here. (6451 California SW)

MUCH MORE .. on the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar!

Followup: History-making South Seattle College team back from aerospace competition, sharing successes and gratitude

April 9, 2014 at 8:32 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle people, West Seattle schools | 5 Comments

(Photos courtesy CrystalRose Hudelson)
“The world of aviation is so vast, with endless possibilities waiting to be explored by young men and women!”

So says CrystalRose Hudelson, who you first met here in January as she shared the news that she and other South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) students had formed an all-woman team to head to the Aviation Maintenance Competition in Las Vegas – the school’s first-ever team to compete.

We also reported on their quest for – and acquisition of – the support they needed to get there, as well as their months of training/practicing. Now, they’re back and celebrating their successes:

Hudelson’s team, coached by longtime aviation mechanic Mary Hadley and also including Agnes Choung, Jennifer Lesher, Melissa Miedan Wang, and Sarah McKenna, placed first in one of the events in which they competed, the “Grey Owl Human Factors” event, with a time of 7:06. She explains that events were judged mostly on a 20-minute time basis.

Overall, she says, “The team did well in the competition. The judges and other professional teams commented on how well we did. This let us know that they know we are knowledgeable in the event materials. We did not, however, place overall. There is only 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place overall.”

Ahead, their other achievements, more photos, and what’s next:

Click to read the rest of Followup: History-making South Seattle College team back from aerospace competition, sharing successes and gratitude…

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Wednesday updates

April 9, 2014 at 7:09 am | In West Seattle news | No Comments

(Latest bridge and Viaduct views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
No trouble reported so far in or outbound from West Seattle. Reminder that the SW Charlestown concrete-panel-replacement road work between 46th and 47th is scheduled to continue for six more days (we’ll be checking on it today).

High-school soccer: WSHS shuts out Franklin in the rain

April 9, 2014 at 12:45 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | 1 Comment

A shutout in the rain for the West Seattle High School boys soccer team on Tuesday. Our team-supporter source shares the photo and news of the 1-0 Wildcats road win over Franklin, with the goal by Brian McMonigle, who also contributed defense along with Thomas Mensig and Connor Elder, plus, they report, goalie Akili Kasim with some great saves. You can go root for them at Walt Hundley Playfield in High Point on Thursday at 3:30 pm, when they host Ingraham.

You can help! West Seattle Food Bank needs picture books

April 8, 2014 at 11:02 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news | 4 Comments

Another call for book donations, from the West Seattle Food Bank, which is helping families feed their kids’ minds too. Note the extended Wednesday dropoff hours! From Eve:

The West Seattle Food Bank distributes books of all kinds to their clients. Right now, children’s picture books are especially needed. If you have books in good condition, please consider donating them to the Food Bank. You can drop them off Monday through Friday 9 am to 3 pm, or Wednesday until 7 pm (Monday and Wednesday are the best drop-off times) The Food Bank is on the SE corner of 35th Avenue SW and SW Morgan St. (enter through the garage on Morgan). YOUR DONATIONS WILL BE GREATLY APPRECIATED.

In case you wondered: Why police were at Westwood bus stops

April 8, 2014 at 8:26 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 2 Comments

Thanks to those who texted us wondering what police were doing at the bus stops across the street from the south side of Westwood Village earlier this evening. Our crew talked with Metro Transit Police on the scene and they said they had been looking for what was believed to be a missing child – who has since been found. A woman and her 9-year-old daughter were on the bus home to West Seattle from downtown. The mom fell asleep on the bus, woke up at Westwood, and could not find her daughter. Seattle Police and Metro Transit PD responded; SPD found the girl at home, though they hadn’t figured out yet why the girl got off the bus without waking up mom.

Morgan Junction shooting trial verdict: Jury finds Lovett ‘Cid’ Chambers guilty of manslaughter

April 8, 2014 at 4:22 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news | 67 Comments

(Defense lawyer Ben Goldsmith, left, with the defendant, after the verdict was read. Photo by WSB’s Patrick Sand)
4:22 PM: After three days of deliberations, the jury has just announced its verdict in the three-month-long trial of Lovett “Cid” Chambers:

Guilty of first-degree manslaughter. (He was charged with second-degree murder but the jury could not agree on that charge, according to what was read in court.)

Chambers was on trial for the January 21, 2012, shooting death of 35-year-old Travis Hood by Morgan Junction Park. He acknowledged all along that he had fired the fatal shots, but in more than six weeks of testimony, two very different stories were presented. (WSB has been the only news organization in the courtroom, covering the case, and our 20+ reports are linked here.) In the courtroom for the verdict announcement: Family and friends on both sides, and three of the four lawyers who argued the case – defenders Ben Goldsmith and Lauren McLane; prosecutor Maggie Nave. Judge Catherine Shaffer received the verdict; Judge Theresa Doyle, who presided over the trial dating back to a month and a half of motions starting in early January, was out today.

4:28 PM: The jury has just left the room. One juror was crying. In addition to manslaughter, the crime was found to have been committed with a deadly weapon – a gun, which adds time to the sentence. No date was announced for sentencing. (We should also point out that the jurors basically had three options besides “not guilty” – murder, manslaughter, or assault.)

County reports potential measles exposure at two West Seattle-area stores

April 8, 2014 at 3:28 pm | In Health, West Seattle news | 40 Comments

The latest measles-exposure alert from King County Public Health involves someone who, before being diagnosed, was at two stores in West Seattle the afternoon/evening of March 30th. From the announcement:

Local public health officials have confirmed a measles infection in a traveler who was at Sea-Tac airport and two locations in Seattle during his contagious period. The traveler is a resident of California and was likely exposed to the measles while on a flight with an earlier confirmed measles case on March 21, 2014.

What to do if you were in a location of potential measles exposure

Most people in our area have immunity to the measles through vaccination, so the risk to the general public is low. However, all persons who were in the following locations around the same time as the individual with measles should:

*Find out if they have been vaccinated for measles or have had measles previously

*Call a health care provider promptly if they develop an illness with fever or illness with an unexplained rash between April 7th and April 21st. To avoid possibly spreading measles to other patients, do not go to a clinic or hospital without calling first to tell them you want to be evaluated for measles.

Locations of potential exposure to measles

Before receiving the measles diagnosis, the traveler was in West Seattle and at Sea-Tac Airport. Anyone who was at Sea-Tac Airport or the locations listed during the following times was possibly exposed to measles:


Safeway, 9620 28th Ave SW, 03/30/2014, 4:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m.
Marshall’s, 2600 SW Barton Street, 3/30/2014, 4:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m.


Sea-Tac Airport, 03/31/2014 , 4:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.: terminal B

If you were at one of the locations at the times listed above and are not immune to measles, the most likely time you would become sick is between April 7th and April 21st.

The county webpage that features this announcement includes more background information about measles, if you need it.

‘Rock for Orion’: West Seattle HS students plan music festival to raise $ to help homeless teens

April 8, 2014 at 2:56 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

Outdoor-music season is starting earlier than usual in West Seattle with “Rock for Orion,” a music festival that West Seattle High School students are hosting April 26th to raise money for YouthCare‘s James W. Ray Orion Center in downtown Seattle, which Katie Blackett of the WSHS ASB describes in the announcement as an “organization that specializes in the housing and rehabilitation of homeless adolescents in the Seattle area.” It’s happening in the courtyard by the main parking lot – that’s near the entrance to the school gym and theater. Here’s the lineup:

1:00 pm — Doors Open

1:30 pm — Tom Nook

2:20 pm — Follies and Vices

3:10 pm — Smashie Smashie

4:00 pm — iji

5:00 pm — Tangerine

6:00 pm — Ephrata

Suggested donation (with re-entry allowed if you can’t stay for the whole thing) will be $10. The event has a website (here) and Facebook-event page (here).

Also @ Transportation Committee: Bicycle Master Plan update OK’d

April 8, 2014 at 11:52 am | In Transportation, West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 35 Comments

Right after the alley-vacation vote, the City Council Transportation Committee launched into what might have been the marquee item on any other day – the updated city Bicycle Master Plan. You can see what the West Seattle section of the plan calls for – what’s envisioned in the future, though timetables and funding are yet to be determined, by going here. (One notable feature: A western West Seattle neighborhood greenway, along 45th SW between Admiral and Alaska.) During discussion, Councilmember Sally Bagshaw said she wanted to include a reassurance that neighborhoods “would be listened to” when implementation time comes for its components. Councilmember Mike O’Brien called it “an amazing plan … ambitious, for sure.”

As-it-happened: 4755 Fauntleroy alley vacation approved by City Council committee

April 8, 2014 at 9:35 am | In 4755 Fauntleroy, West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 59 Comments

(TOPLINE: Five councilmembers voted in favor of the alley vacation at today’s hearing; final vote expected at full Council meeting on April 21st)

(Photos/video by WSB’s Patrick Sand)
9:35 AM: Just under way at City Hall – the City Council Transportation Committee meeting that will include the “alley vacation” request for the 4755 Fauntleroy Way (aka The Whittaker) development. You can watch the live Seattle Channel stream by clicking “play” in the window below:

(EVENING UPDATE: The archived full-meeting Seattle Channel video is now embedded above)
The meeting will start with public comment, about this and the meeting’s other big item – the updated Bicycle Master Plan. After that, 4755 Fauntleroy is the first item on the agenda. We’ll update live as it goes.

(Added: WSB video of the entire public-comment period)
9:42 AM: Public comment is under way. The committee’s chair Councilmember Tom Rasmussen is calling alley-vacation commenters first, then bicycle plan. First commenter, Deb Barker, a co-author of the letter/supporting documents we published last night, including criticism of the public-outreach period. Second, Joe Rogoff from Whole Foods Market, the only announced tenant for the project so far. He says opponents have mischaracterized the project’s truck-traffic potential. He also says, “Whole Foods Market being singled out as a tenant does not seem right to me” and notes there was no union outcry when non-unionized Trader Joe’s went in nearby. Third commenter, identified as Rebecca, who says city policy discourages alley/street vacations if they don’t benefit the city’s transportation system and thinks this should be denied. Next, a man identifying himself as a land-use attorney representing a commercial real-estate group. “Adding density to the region is critical,” he says. “… Especially dense new development near transit lines.” He says developers are starting to avoid alley vacations because they are such a hassle, and says that’s bad. Next: Steve Williamson, who says he wants the committee to vote no but if anyone chooses to vote “yes,” to explain what they believe is its public benefit. He, like Rebecca, says research has shown only one street/alley vacation denied by the council since 1998. And he says “development policy … is one way to address income inequality.”

9:54 AM: The commenters continued with supporter Josh Sutton, who says that if this project doesn’t go forward, another developer could move in with something worse. He says this project “has passed every step of the Seattle development process along the way … You have all you need to make a decision today.” Next, Jim Guenther, who says, “The train’s pulling away from the station and the only people on that train are going to be the developers, the City Council, and city staff.” He says opponents “have no problem with Whole Foods” and point out that they offered alternatives to the developers who, he says, “said no.” He lists four conditions he thinks should be required of the developers, including making half of the mid-block connector pedestrian-only, and “meaningful plazas” on the site. Next speaker, John, says, “I’ve had so many conversations with people about Whole Foods coming to West Seattle … (people) want WF to come here.” He contends, “The voters in West Seattle really, really want to see this happen.” He’s followed by Patrick Keating, who says he’s “here to talk about the traffic impacts … Currently (the crosswalks and bus stops) in the vicinity are difficult at best.” Next, Richard, who says, “A lot of this has turned into some bizarre union thing vs. non-union, Whole Foods … (but) this is really about the development of the property there. I don’t know if you’ve been down there but the place is a cesspool … derelict buildings, graffiti, the alley in question isn’t even an alley per se, it’s two streets cut off by dumpsters.” The next commenter, Kurt, says he got involved with a group of project opponents because he thought they were concerned about overall West Seattle development, but learned they were only focused on this project, and only on opposing Whole Foods being part of it. He says he supports the project. Final commenter is Dave Montoure, who says he wants to clarify that the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce, for which he serves as past board chair, supports the project. He says he hopes the committee will vote today. He’s the last commenter on this project – next, four bicycle-plan commenters, so there’ll be a break in our coverage.

10:17 AM: Now, the official agenda item.

Councilmember Rasmussen recaps that discussion and presentations were extensive on March 11th so the city staffers are here mostly as “a resource.” Beverly Barnett, who is the city’s point person for reviewing street/alley vacations, speaks first. She goes through the process and says that the city’s default is supposed to be “retain right of way … so when people (bring in proposals), we do feel there’s kind of a ‘hump’ for them to go over.” The more-problematic ones, she says, never get to the council because of so much advance discussion. She says if there’s a vote today, it would be on whether to grant the alley vacation – which means, the right for the developer to buy the alley land at fair-market value – “as conditioned.” (The documentation are all in the items linked to the agenda and was also included in our March 11th coverage.) City staff is going over the list of meetings at which the project was discussed; Councilmember Sally Bagshaw said she was concerned, but it sounds as if it’s been thoroughly discussed/presented. Councilmember Tim Burgess asked Barnett if this went through the standard vacation process. Yes, she said, although it’s been “more,” she added. He asks if it was circulated to city departments to see if there are any objections; yes, she replies, and says the developer met with departments including SDOT and Seattle Public Utilities to review elements including the design of the “mid-block connector” through the project. Luke Korpi of SDOT elaborates on that, saying “various alternatives” were explored, and that they felt they had finally arrived at the best version, which features a pedestrian walkway “separate from vehicle traffic, truck traffic.”

10:36 AM: Korpi says SDOT is “comfortable” with the final version. Bagshaw says she is still concerned about people getting from the project to the newly purchased park land across 40th SW. (There’s been controversy over whether SDOT would allow a mid-block crosswalk there; the West Seattle Triangle Plan calls for one.) Korpi says traffic engineers want to wait until after the project is finished to see how traffic patterns shape up, how the park is developed, etc. The developer is reported to have said that they will “participate” in making that crosswalk possible, and Bagshaw says she would like to make sure that is on the record somehow. Councilmember Mike O’Brien asks why, since Triangle Plan called for pedestrian-only midblock connector here, it’s OK for vehicles to be part of the one through the project. Korpi says they evaluated whether it would meet the goals of the plan, and SDOT determined it would. “So why was the letter of the neighborhood plan not achievable?” O’Brien asks. Korpi says it was deemed preferable for this project to have three access points for vehicles – Fauntleroy, 40th, Edmunds – to reduce pressure on Fauntleroy in particular. Councilmember Sally Clark says she supports getting the developer on record as helping pay for the future crosswalk. Rasmussen now moves for conceptual approval of the alley vacation and is second. Discussion ensues: He says the tenant is not part of the consideration, per city law; one critical point, he says, is whether the public will “lose alley function” with granting of a vacation, but he says that will not happen with this plan. And he quotes the Design Commission as saying that the plan with a midblock connector will “better meet the need … than the current alley … which is petitioned to be vacated.” He says that reviews indicate traffic will not be worsened at the area and that there are other benefits, such as wider sidewalks and an added bicycle lane, so he concludes “the public trust in the right of way” would be served. He also says that leaving the current alley configuration in place would not serve the goals of the Triangle Plan. And he notes SDOT did “not make a recommendation” regarding approval or denial, but did suggest conditions if the council chooses to support it. “My conclusion is that the public benefits are strong,” he concludes, and says he supports approval.

11:02 AM: Councilmember O’Brien, vice chair of the Transportation Committee, says he’s voting no. He thinks, for one, a grocery store could be placed on the Fauntleroy side, and he likes the fact that if the site were developed without an alley vacation, it would mean more housing units, and he says those are needed. Overall, he says he is not convinced there is enough public benefit, and the midblock connector concerns him the most – whether it has enough pedestrian orientation. He says he doesn’t think it’s possible to “put enough conditions on it” to make the vehicle traffic and pedestrian interaction work well enough. Councilmember Licata – who is an alternate member of the committee – is asking more about the connector. “It doesn’t seem to work in terms of just a pedestrian area,” he said, without “destinations on other side of the sidewalk … I don’t get who this is serving.” Rasmussen explains, “This is a very, very large site, and without a pedestrian connection, people would” have to walk up to and around the site on Alaska and Edmunds, “so it serves a very practical function.” Licata is not convinced. Next, Councilmember Kshama Sawant, who says she’s been to the site and a “vibrant development” certainly is in order, but she still wants to see the jobs question considered – just because that hasn’t been part of the review process “doesn’t mean we should keep doing it the same way until the end of time.” She points out that this would be in an area with several other grocery stores and that she believes they are all unionized (editor’s note: not Trader Joe’s) and that she will vote no.

11:16 AM: The vote is “divided,” Rasmussen announces (5 for, 3 against, we’re still confirming how it shook out since it’s a voice vote), so it goes to the full council on April 21st. Five votes is a majority of the council, so if no one changes, that means it will be finalized then, and supporters are in a jovial mood outside the chambers. The committee now goes on to the Bicycle Master Plan – you can continue watching the meeting in the live window above. We’re hanging around until the end to be sure we have clarification on who voted what and what happens next.

11:55 AM: Just spoke with Rasmussen’s legislative assistant Brian Hawksford:
-The no votes were O’Brien, Sawant, and Licata.
-The only councilmember who wasn’t here was Bruce Harrell; so, the yes votes were Rasmussen, Bagshaw, Godden, Clark, Burgess.
-”Divided” vote means that since it was not unanimous, a report must be prepared by council staff laying out the points that were made, and that is why the final vote is delayed a week, and scheduled for the second meeting after the committee vote instead of the first one.
-Even though the committee itself is just three members, the rules allow any councilmember to join in the proceedings of any committee (including voting) at any time.

ADDED 2:25 PM: From e-mail, reaction from Getting It Right for West Seattle, which had sought to have a Community Benefit Agreement required before the alley vacation could be approved:

Transportation Chairperson Tom Rasmussen’s approval of the biggest megaproject of its kind in West Seattle is another illustration why it’s time for the city to modernize its definition of what constitutes a public benefit. The city council should consider the public’s priorities, such as compliance with neighborhood plans, public transportation, family wage jobs, affordable workforce housing, and more. It should no longer be okay to sell public property to developers and businesses who don’t meet Seattle’s community-oriented standards. We thank Mike O’Brien, Nick Licata and Kshama Sawant for voting no on this project.

ADDED 10:08 PM: We have replaced the original cameraphone photos included here as we reported – crowd at top, council midway through – with two clearer images by our photographer. We also have replaced the original “live video” window with archived Seattle Channel video of the entire meeting, and also added the backup video we recorded while there – broken into two segments, the public comment, and the actual agenda item/discussion/vote.

West Seattle Tuesday: Calendar highlights for today/tonight

April 8, 2014 at 9:21 am | In West Seattle news, WS culture/arts, WS miscellaneous | 3 Comments

(Monday’s sunset; photo by Chris Frankovich)
As we look ahead at what’s happening Tuesday – we’re interspersing photos shared from the end of Monday. Thank you to those who e-mailed these views! From the calendar:

4755 FAUNTLEROY @ COUNCIL TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE: 9:30 am at City Council Chambers at City Hall downtown, as previewed last night. Public comment at the start of the meeting, which also has the Bicycle Master Plan on the agenda. Live on Seattle Channel (and we expect to have a live video window here on the site, too). (4th/James downtown)

RESOURCE FAIR: 10 am-1 pm at the Senior Center of West Seattle – including free lunch! Details in our listing. (California/Oregon)

STORYTELLING: 6 pm, the Seattle Storytellers Guild is at Chaco Canyon Organic Café in The Triangle. (38th/Alaska)

WEST SEATTLE COMMUNITY ORCHESTRAS: Spring concert, 6:30 pm at Chief Sealth International High School Auditorium – details in our calendar listing>. (2600 SW Thistle)

(Jeff shared the photo, suggesting the reflected light near Blake Island looked like ‘ghost ships’)
And a big slate of community meetings, as is usual for the second Tuesday of the month:

HIGH POINT NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION: 6 pm, Neighborhood House’s High Point Center. (6400 Sylvan Way SW)

WEST SEATTLE TRANSPORTATION COALITION: 6:30 pm at Neighborhood House’s High Point Center, with a lineup of SDOT managers as special guests to talk and listen. The agenda, from the WSTC website:

6:30-6:40: Welcome, Introductions, Community news, Updates.

6:40-6:50: Committee News and Updates; Looking for new Committee Chairs

6:50-7:00: New business from the Membership – Anything to share, work on?

7:00-8:00: Seattle Department of Transportation, to discuss infrastructure and safety across the West Seattle Peninsula. Expected Guests:

Jim Curtin, Senior Transportation Planner
Brian Dougherty, Associate Transportation Planner
John Buswell, Roadway Structures Manager
Bill LaBorde, Strategic Advisor at Seattle Department of Transportation
Bob Chandler, Seattle Department of Transportation
Assistant Director Richard Sheridan, Public Information Manager
Cheryl Swab, Strategic Advisor for Council Relations at Seattle Department of Transportation

8:00-8:20: Set action items for the May WSTC meeting with guest Andrew Glass Hastings, Mayor Murray’s Transportation Policy Advisor.

8:20-8:25: Set the main Agenda items for May’s WSTC meeting.

8:25-8:30: Adjourn.

All welcome. (6400 Sylvan Way SW)

WEST SEATTLE BOOSTER CLUB: Your invitation from the club to come to tonight’s meeting, 7 pm at the West Seattle High School library:

Hello West Seattle HS Fans…..

Come and be part of this group of parents, alumni, faculty, coaches , and community members who want help raise money and awareness for West Seattle High School’s athletic programs and activities. Please visit our web site, for more information. We hope to see you!!

FAUNTLEROY COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION: 7 pm in the board room just inside the entrance of Fauntleroy Schoolhouse, all welcome. (9131 California SW)

ADMIRAL NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION: 7 pm at The Sanctuary at Admiral, all welcome. (42nd/Lander)

Much more on the calendar!

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