Money talk and more at West Seattle school-board rep Gina Topp’s second community chat

The new Seattle Public Schools Board of Directors rep for West Seattle/South Park, Gina Topp, decided to try hosting her second community-conversation meeting online, after having her first one in-person. Result: Less than half the turnout. Could have been the day, time, the fact that many are on break since school’s out for conversation. Nonetheless, conversation ensued, though Topp and her attendees ran out of things to talk about after about 45 minutes, and the Thursday night meeting – announced for an hour – ended early. Like her first one (WSB coverage here), this was more of an around-the-table chance for everyone to bring up a question or comment, rather than an in-depth discussion of any one topic. School funding was a common thread for most, though, with SPS facing a nine-digit budget shortfall. Topp said the district needs to be able to show state reps that they’re being fiscally responsible. She also noted that principals have recently received their schools’ money information for the year ahead and will have to sit down with their Building Leadership Teams (as explained at the recent School Funding 101 event) to “make it work.” One attendee, West Seattleite Fiona Preedy – there though her children have graduated out of the district – spoke about the importance of funding for music, a program that keeps so many kids interested and engaged in school, yet has to fight for funding scraps and plead for donation.

Topp said the board doesn’t have a uniform policy for meetings like these – it’s up to individual directors whether to have them at all – but she intends to continue having them monthly. She also said she’s sharing feedback from her meetings with the rest of the board, so they know what she’s hearing. You can reach her other ways, too – her email address is here. She reminded those in attendance that the next board meeting will be March 6 (watch for more agenda details here). And when asked if she plans to visit schools, Topp said she’s already contacted all the schools in her district inviting them to let her know about occasions on which she can visit.

WEEKEND PREVIEW: One more Lunar New Year celebration Saturday

(Full ‘Snow Moon’ setting this morning, photographed by Theresa Arbow-O’Connor)

The arrival of the full “Snow Moon” brings an end to two weeks of Lunar New Year celebrations. Tomorrow (Saturday, February 24) you’re invited to the final community event announced for West Seattle – the Lunar New Year Lantern Festival at the Seattle Chinese Garden. The garden borders the north edge of the South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) campus at 6000 16th SW on Puget Ridge. The festival is set to start at 11 am and continue through 3 pm, with music, dance, crafts, story time, tea, and more – the full schedule is here. Admission is free, but donations are welcome.

FOLLOWUP: Here’s what’s happening one month after 15-year-old Mobarak Adam was shot to death

(WSB photos)

The memorial outside Southwest Teen Life Center/Pool lingers, one month after the January 23 shooting death of 15-year-old Mobarak Adam inside the center. Steps away from the memorial, a crew worked on the outside of the building today:

We believe, but have not yet confirmed, they were working on the new camera system promised for the center. Last night, Seattle Parks’ chief deputy superintendent Christopher Williams told the Board of Parks and Recreation Commissioners that the new cameras would be in place within “a couple of weeks.” City records show an electrical permit was granted this week for installation of what the application described as “a CCTV system with 16 camera locations.” (The city website shows a similar permit was granted to a different contractor last June; we’ll be following up on why the cameras apparently weren’t installed then.)

Meantime, no new information from police; we had filed a public-records request four weeks ago for the initial report on the incident, and received a notice today that the request has been denied, with the explanation that “the records requested are associated with a case that is under active investigation and non-disclosure is essential to effective law enforcement.” (The reply invited us to try again in about six weeks.) But during Williams’ briefing at the Parks Board meeting last night, he said the city and Seattle Public Schools planned to participate in an upcoming meeting organized by the Chief Sealth International High School PTSA focusing on safety at the adjoining Chief Sealth and Denny International Middle School campuses as well as the center, pool, and stadium facilities across the street. He mentioned a tentative date in mid-March; we have checked with the Sealth PTSA and they say a date isn’t finalized yet.

‘Our goal is to bring The Kenney back to its former status’: New management for West Seattle’s oldest senior-living complex

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The Kenney is under new management.

After nine years, East Coast-based Heritage Ministries has ended its operation of the 115-year-old West Seattle senior-living complex. Midwest-based SAK Healthcare is now running it, we learned this week.

“We’re quite excited about the prospects for renewal here,” SAK Healthcare’s chief strategy officer Rick Snider told WSB.

The state of The Kenney has been closely watched since an ambitious $150 million redevelopment plan announced a decade and a half ago, changed amid community scrutiny, and ultimately scrapped in 2011. In 2016, it announced a smaller-scale plan for change, but that too evolved, including a sale of some adjacent properties where The Kenney once planned to build apartments.

After learning about the management change, we asked Snider some questions via email. He says SAK Healthcare “is a leading national advisory specializing in distressed health-care facilities that require strategic redirection and turnaround management services.” The Kenney has not been sold, nor is it in bankruptcy or receivership, he said, though he said SAK Healthcare was hired last month “directly by the governing board for The Kenney in cooperation with the lender.”

Since then, he said, “We’ve been on-site every week since then to conduct assessments and staff training, inspect physical plant issues, work on resolving vendor accounts that are outstanding, and put together short-term plans to stabilize the operations and finances.” This is not likely a long-term relationship, though: “Our turnaround engagements normally do not specify an end date, and they may run anywhere from twelve to eighteen months typically. Our goal is to bring The Kenney back to its former status as the premier senior living community in Seattle.”

What does that mean in terms of operational changes? Snider replied, “Our focus is to improve all aspects of resident care including clinical services and nursing, dietary, aesthetics and physical plant. We are working to rebuild the resident census to enable us to accelerate our improvement plans. We have already begun extensive efforts to restore the beautiful grounds for which The Kenney is known, partnering with Devonshire Landscapes. Many other items of deferred maintenance are also being addressed including the HVAC systems, elevators, and lighting.” Snider says the change has not resulted in any staff cuts, “and we do not plan to reduce staff. We are looking for additional senior living professionals to join the team, including a marketer, and additional staff to support clinical services and resident care.”

We also asked whether residents and their families had been notified of the change: “Yes, our leadership including our CEO, Suzanne Koenig, and our consulting team has met with the resident council and with all residents and family members in a town hall held at The Kenney. We are continuing to send out communications to keep residents and families informed of progress being made.”

Snider says his compay has high hopes for that progress: “The Kenney is a hidden gem and has incredible potential. With the collaboration of residents and staff and our vendors along with the Board, we’re moving the community forward to a brighter future. SAK Healthcare is very proud to have been asked to work with the community and provide its knowledge and skills to address the many challenges that have plagued The Kenney for years.”

The Kenney’s campus at 7125 Fauntleroy Way SW, just north of Lincoln Park, includes independent- and assisted-living units, as well as memory care.

NEXT WEEK: See ‘Screenagers Under the Influence’ in West Seattle

“Practical solutions for keeping our teens safe in a changing world” is the focus of the newest film in the “Screenagers” series, and local families are invited to a free screening next Thursday at West Seattle High School (3000 California SW). In case you haven’t already seen it in our Event Calendar, here’s the announcement:

The fentanyl crisis is escalating. Kids are vaping in classrooms and school bathrooms. Dealers direct message teens on social media. And substance use among youth in West Seattle is a big issue. The Healthy Youth Survey in 2021 showed that one quarter of 12th graders at West Seattle High School used cannabis in the previous 30 days–almost 10 percentage points higher than the state average.

Parents and caregivers are looking for ways to protect their kids from substance use. But they’re up against some powerful industries that have literally copied the playbook of tobacco companies from decades ago and supercharged that strategy for our digital age. With the constant, 24-hour deluge of content pushing the normalcy of drugs, alcohol, and vaping on social media, TV, movies, ads, influencers, etc., the substance use culture has never been more appealing and accessible to teens than it is today.

Youth substance use prevention groups in West Seattle and White Center welcome parents, caregivers, and youth to watch the new documentary Screenagers Under The Influence: Vaping, Drugs, and Alcohol in the Digital Age. The screening is free and will take place at the West Seattle High School auditorium on February 29, 6:30 – 8:00 PM. Register at tinyurl.com/ScreenagersWSHS.

Screenagers Under The Influence is the third feature documentary in the Screenagers trilogy from award-winning Seattle-based filmmaker Delaney Ruston, MD. Trained at Stanford Medical School, Delaney has split her time over the past two decades creating documentaries and providing primary care. She has spent the past 11 years intensely researching the impact of screen time on youth and solutions for screen time balance.

She grounds her latest film in teens’ current reality of being flooded by images on social media, movies, and TV shows about vaping, drugs, and alcohol. Like the first two Screenagers films, Screenagers Under The Influence interweaves cutting-edge science with personal stories to create an informative and entertaining film experience for young people and adults alike. The documentary focuses on practical solutions for keeping our teens safe in a changing world.

The February 29 screening at West Seattle High School is hosted by:

Westside HEY Coalition, a community group focused on youth substance use prevention in the Madison Middle School and West Seattle High School attendance zone;

SW Seattle Youth Alliance, which is working to prevent youth substance use in the Denny International Middle School and Chief Sealth International High School attendance zone;

Coalition for Drug-Free Youth, which works to keep youth off of substances in the White Center and North Highline areas;

West Seattle High School PTSA

SET YOUR CALENDAR: Mariner Moose plans pre-season West Seattle visit

(2022 photo courtesy West Seattle Little League – Mariner Moose visiting WSLL at Bar-S)

The Mariners‘ first spring-training game is tomorrow – so baseball season is on the way. So is the Mariner Moose – scheduled to make a rare visit to West Seattle. The crew at Morgan Junction Starbucks (California/Fauntleroy) sent first word that their shop has been chosen as a stop on the Moose’s March to Opening Day regional tour. You can meet the Moose there 9 am-11 am on (corrected) Thursday, March 14 for goofiness and giveaways, among other things.

Roll on in! Eagle Scout leads pathway project for smoother access to Fauntleroy Park

(Photos by Tom Trulin)

The main north entrance to Fauntleroy Park is a little easier to navigate now, thanks to a local Eagle Scout and helpers. The report is from Judy Pickens:

Visitors to Fauntleroy Park will notice something new at the SW Barton St. entrance: a crushed-rock path providing firm footing between the sidewalk and kiosk.

Eagle Scout candidate Kai Longmeier (above) rallied a crew from Troop 681 to strip the pathway of grass, lay and compact 7.5 yards of crushed rock, and put in 12 plants around the entrance’s rainbow sign.

The project started with interest by the Fauntleroy Watershed Council in improving access for those who rely on wheels to enjoy the park (strollers, walkers, wheelchairs). Council member Rosalie Miller worked with Amir Williams, trails program manager for Seattle Parks, to come up with the project and Kai ably took it from there.

Haven’t been there before? Here’s a map.

10 possibilities for your West Seattle Friday

(Harbor Seal in the Duwamish River, photographed by Steve Bender)

Here are your Friday highlights, mostly from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

NORTHWEST WINE ACADEMY: Open 1-6 pm at South Seattle College (6000 16th SW; WSB sponsor).

FREE TODDLER GYM: 3-5 pm at the Salvation Army Center (9050 16th SW).

RECONNECT SOUTH PARK: Coffee chat to find out/talk about the concept of reconnecting South Park, bisected by a freeway, 3-4 pm at the Duwamish River Community Hub (8600 14th Ave. S., South Park).

VISCON CELLARS: Tasting room/wine bar open – wine by the glass or bottle – 5-9 pm at Viscon Cellars (5910 California SW; WSB sponsor).

BLACK HISTORY SHAKES: That’s the centerpiece activity at 7 pm at Southwest Teen Life Center‘s late-night program. (2801 SW Thistle)

LIVE MUSIC AT C & P: Tonight, see and hear The Sound and The Fury at C & P Coffee (5612 California SW; WSB sponsor), 7-9 pm, all ages, no cover.

SHOWCASE AT THE SPOT: Fridays are Live Artist Showcase nights at The Spot West Seattle (2920 SW Avalon Way), 7-10 pm.

‘BORN WITH TEETH’: Final weekend for the current play at ArtsWest (4711 California SW; WSB sponsor), 7:30 pm – tickets here.

DJ NIGHT AT REVELRY ROOM: Music 9 pm-1 am on Fridays! Tonight’s DJ is Grizz. (4547 California SW)

MAKE IT LOUD! Skate to live music at Southgate Roller Rink (9646 17th SW), 9 pm-midnight, this week featuring Tomo Nakayama, Betsy Olson Band, Echo Ravine. $18 cover + $5 skate rental

Something to add to our calendar? westseattleblog@gmail.com – thank you!

TRAFFIC, TRANSIT, WEATHER: Friday + weekend info

6:02 AM: Good morning! It’s Friday, February 23, last weekday of midwinter break for many local schools.

WEATHER + SUNRISE/SUNSET TIMES

Today’s forecast is for sunshine and a high in the low 50s (Thursday’s high was 56, five degrees above normal). Sunrise will be at 7:01 am, sunset at 5:44 pm.

WEEKEND NOTES

*The two right northbound lanes on the 1st Avenue South Bridge are scheduled to be closed Saturday morning (February 24) for road work, 6 am-noon.

*Alki will be busier than usual for this time of year on Saturday, with the Special Olympics Polar Plunge bringing a variety of vehicles including a lineup of food trucks.

TRANSIT NOTES

Metro today – Regular schedule; check advisories here.

Water Taxi today – Regular schedule. Check the real-time map if you need to see where the boat is.

Washington State Ferries today – The usual 2 boats on the Triangle Route. Check WSF alerts for changes, and use the real-time map to see where your ferry is.

SPOTLIGHT TRAFFIC CAMERAS

Delridge cameras: Besides the one below (Delridge/Orchard), cameras are also at Delridge/Genesee, Delridge/Juneau, Delridge/Henderson, and Delridge/Oregon.

High Bridge – the main camera:

High Bridge – the view from its southwest end (when SDOT points the 35th/Avalon/Fauntleroy camera that way):

Low Bridge:

1st Ave. S. Bridge:

Highway 99: – northbound side at Lander:

MORE TRAFFIC CAMS: All functioning traffic cams citywide are here; West Seattle and vicinity-relevant cameras are on this WSB page.

BRIDGE INFO: The @SDOTBridges feed on X (ex-Twitter) shows whether the city’s movable bridges are opening for vessel traffic.

If you see a problem on the bridges/streets/paths/water, please text or call us (when you can do that safely, and after you’ve reported to authorities if they’re not already on scene). Thank you!

It’s official: West Seattle Stadium site recommended as area’s second dog park

A month and a half after a Seattle Parks executive said it looked likely that West Seattle Stadium would be chosen for the peninsula’s second off-leash area, the recommendation was formally unveiled tonight.

The area on stadium grounds west of the golf course was one of two West Seattle finalists (as announced last June) in the site-selection process, along with Lincoln Park, but Parks’ Danyal Lotfi told the Board of Parks and Recreation Commissioners tonight that it was no contest – the stadium site won hands down. Lotfi said that out of 4,753 respondents to last year’s citywide survey, 2,000 had something to say about the stadium site, and 87 percent were in favor of it. What’s more, Lotfi said, they’re recommending permanent removal of Lincoln Park from any future consideration as an off-leash area, because “the community prefers passive activation” there. (Before choosing West Seattle Stadium and Lincoln Park as the finalists, Parks also studied possible dog-park sites at Me-Kwa-Mooks, Hamilton Viewpoint, and Delridge Community Center.)

So what happens now? First, the recommendation has to be finalized, and that won’t happen until a public hearing at the board’s March 14th meeting. Then, it would be up to Parks Superintendent AP Diaz to give final approval. Assuming all that happens, design would start this summer/fall, with construction funding available in 2025-2026. This would be one of two new dog parks the city builds then, along with Othello Park. And Lotfi said they have other recommendations to go with adding dog parks – particularly “with expanding the off-leash-area system, expanded enforcement of leash laws is needed.”

FRIDAY: KEXP Radio plans all-day tribute to West Seattle’s Susie Tennant

One month after the passing of longtime West Seattleite and music-scene champion Susie Tennant, KEXP Radio plans a daylong tribute tomorrow. Here’s how KEXP’s website describes the plan for Susie Tennant Day, starting at 5 am Friday:

Join us Friday, February 23rd on KEXP as we celebrate the life of one of Seattle’s unsung heroes, the late Susie Tennant, who as a Promotions Director for Sub Pop and numerous other labels championed artists as varied as Nirvana, Beck, Hole, Mother Love Bone, Sebadoh, Sonic Youth, Supersuckers, Teenage Fanclub, Veruca Salt, and more. It will be a day filled with special guests and incredible music for all who loved her or were touched by the artists she helped bring into our lives.

KEXP is at 90.3 FM and online here.

FOLLOWUP: Here’s why Metro is proposing closing bus stops in south West Seattle. And it’s not the only change they’re considering

Last weekend, reader Juan tipped us to notices on some Metro bus stops in Highland Park/South Delridge, saying Metro is considering closing them and requesting feedback. No information was available online, so we published this and then, right after the holiday weekend, we asked Metro for the overview of which stops are on the chopping block, and why. This afternoon we finally got the details – and, says Metro spokesperson Jeff Switzer, there’s more to it than just a stop-closing plan. First, the stops proposed for closure – note that the list includes one that’s not on 16th:

Now, the big picture – including an extension of time to comment on the proposed stop closures/relocation (they’ve fixed the emailbox problems):

Metro is working on ways to improve travel times for West Seattle riders, upgrade bus stop amenities, and help riders make better connections.

There are 56 bus stops on route 125. Metro staff are currently evaluating proposals to improve up to 14 bus stops, remove up to five stops, and relocate one bus stop. The section of 16th Avenue SW between SW Holden Street and SW Henderson Street is the only portion of the route with consecutive bus stops located 500 to 700 feet apart. These short distances are about half the desired stop spacing distance, as defined in Metro’s Service Guidelines.

At the same time, Metro has been working with Seattle Department of Transportation staff to consider how the Seattle Transit Measure could be used to fund improvements for Route 125. This will likely include funding approximately 4,000 additional service hours focused on improving evening and weekend service, starting in fall of 2024. The City of Seattle and King County are also considering locations along Routes 125 and 128 in Delridge, Riverview, and Highland Park where there is the opportunity to improve bus stop safety and accessibility by building improvements such as sidewalk extensions and benches.

In mid-February, Metro staff posted hardcopy notices asking for feedback regarding the proposals to close the bus stops [on 16th] at SW Kenyon Street, SW Thistle Street, and SW Trenton Street. Metro is considering closing these five bus stops to improve the travel times and reliability for routes 125 and 128. By consolidating ridership at fewer stops, it also makes it possible to provide higher quality amenities (like shelters) at the remaining stops. Metro staff also posted a rider alert at the eastbound bus stop on SW Barton Street at 22nd Avenue SW asking riders for feedback about the possibility of relocating the stop to Delridge Way SW to improve the transfer between Route 125 and the RapidRide H Line.

No decisions have been made on whether any stops will be closed or relocated. We want to hear from riders about their priorities and how they use these stops. The feedback gathered this month will help us refine the project scope. We are extending the window for initial comments through March 14 and welcome any feedback regarding the proposed stop rebalancing, proposed bus stop modifications, or any other comments regarding route 125. Feedback can be submitted to busstopsw@kingcounty.gov. Additional information regarding these improvements will be shared in the coming months, once the project team can review the feedback, follow-up with community members, and refine the project scope.

ELECTION 2024: Your ballot’s on the way. But maybe not the one you got email about

A reader texted us this morning to report getting email saying their ballot had been sent – for the “February 13 special election.”

Aside from the fact that February 13 was nine days ago, our area wasn’t involved in the special election. So we checked with King County Elections, to see if perhaps that was meant to be an alert of ballot-mailing for the upcoming March 12 presidential primary. KCE spokesperson Courtney Hudak confirmed that: “We’ve heard from voters who received email alerts that erroneously included information from the February Election. The team has since sent an updated email alert with the correct date, which, as you say, was supposed to be for the March Presidential Primary! Ballots have been mailed for (that)! Voters should receive their ballots by Monday. If they have not received their ballot by then, they should give us a call at 206.296.8683.”

Also of note – your ballot will include some candidates who have withdrawn from the race since qualifying for the ballot. The KCE website explains why: “The list of eligible candidates was provided by the State Democratic and Republican Parties on January 9. After that date, there was no opportunity to withdraw a name from the ballot.”

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Mini-mart robbery

From our daily check of the police-call logs, one incident of note early today: An armed robbery at the Fauntleroy/Alaska gas-station mini-mart. Archived police-radio audio had limited details on this, so we asked SPD for the report narrative. At 4:51 am, “an officer was arriving at the 4500 block of Fauntleroy Way SW for an unrelated theft call. The victim met the officer outside the business and stated that an armed robbery had just occurred.” The officer was told three people – two male, one female – went into the store, with one “going behind the counter and pointing a silver/gray semi-automatic handgun at the victim and demanding the register be opened.” Between the three robbers, they took money from the register, vape products and cigarettes, and food/drink items, then got away in a vehicle parked behind nearby. According to the radio recording, it was a “blue minivan” and one robber was described in slightly more detail – a white man 45 to 50 years old, tall, medium build. When last seen, police say, the van was southbound on 35th SW from SW Alaska. If you have any information, the SPD incident # is 24-050006.

UPDATE: Brown water and work crews in Admiral. Plus, a signal update

12:49 PM: We noticed that work crew on the north side of 47th/Admiral this morning and since we saw SDOT logos, we sent an inquiry to see if it’s related to the signal troubles at that intersection. While awaiting that reply, we’ve since heard from one nearby resident who says the crew was working on sewer/water, while another says crews were working with the hydrant a few blocks north at 47th/Walker, and that brown water has ensued. So we’re checking with SPU too, but in the meantime, if you’re in the area, check your water before laundry/bathing/etc.

ADDED THURSDAY NIGHT: Here’s what we heard back from SDOT:

Our workers were repairing the road panels, replacing old concrete with new ones featuring curbs. This project is unrelated to the traffic signal issue.

Regarding the traffic signal problem, today a backhoe accidentally blocked a traffic light sensor, causing the light to remain on as it detected a vehicle presence all day. However, the digging is now complete, so we anticipate no further issues with the signal.

To stop issues like this from happening again, we made the northbound detection zone smaller to catch problems with illegal parking or similar situations. We’re still looking into the problem by putting in a hard drive to take pictures for a better look. This should help us find out why it’s acting up.

BIZNOTE: West Seattle Coworking hosting 24-hour CodeDay code-a-thon

(WSB photo)

West Seattle Coworking‘s main location at 9030 35th SW will host dozens of students this weekend for a 24-hour code-a-thon. The event is presented by the nonprofit organization CodeDay, which explains that it’s “committed to providing inclusive opportunities for underserved students to learn about technology.” More than 70 students are participating and will be building games, websites, apps, and more between noon Saturday and noon Sunday, in what CodeDay explains will be “an immersive learning experience, with mentors and workshops guiding students through the process of turning their ideas into tangible projects.” CodeDay’s goal is to eliminate the financial burden for students to get tech knowhow, and toward that end, the announcement notes that they’re even providing “free laptops for the event that attendees can keep in order to promote a continued interest in coding beyond the event.” A CodeDay spokesperson says the opening ceremony (noon-12:30 pm Saturday) and closing awards ceremony (11 am-noon Sunday) are open to the public if you’re interested in visiting.

The list for your West Seattle Thursday!

(Photo by Theresa Arbow-O’Connor)

Here’s what’s happening for the rest of your Thursday, mostly from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

FREE PLAYSPACE: Drop-in space open at West Seattle Church of the Nazarene (42nd/Juneau) until noon.

NORTHWEST WINE ACADEMY: Open 1-6 pm at South Seattle College (6000 16th SW; WSB sponsor).

WEST SEATTLE UKULELE PLAYERS: All levels welcome to this weekly 1 pm gathering. Email westseattleukuleleplayerswsup@gmail.com for info on where they’re playing today.

HOW REAL ESTATE TRENDS AFFECT SENIOR LIVING: Free presentation at Village Green West Seattle (2615 SW Barton; WSB sponsor), 2 pm – please RSVP.

STRONG BODIES, STRONG BONES: 2:30 pm class at Senior Center of West Seattle (4217 SW Oregon).

HPCS FOOD-TRUCK VISIT: Every Thursday, 4-8 pm, Highland Park Corner Store (7789 Highland Park Way SW) gets a food-truck visit. Tonight it’s Paparepas.

FREE ECO-ARTS CLASS: 4-7 pm at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center (4408 Delridge Way SW) – drop in!

VISCON CELLARS: The West Seattle winery’s tasting room/wine bar is open 5-9 pm (5910 California SW; WSB sponsor) for wine by the glass or bottle.

(added) DINE AND DONATE: Haymaker in The Junction (4706 California SW) is donating proceeds to the West Seattle Food Bank tonight. Open 5-10 pm.

TALK WITH YOUR SCHOOL BOARD REP: The Seattle Public Schools board director for West Seattle/South Park, Gina Topp, hosts a community-conversation meeting online, 6-7 pm. Find the attendance link here.

WESTIES RUN CLUB: Meet at Future Primitive Beer Bar (2536 Alki SW) at 6 pm for a 3-mile run – more in our calendar listing.

HIGHLAND PARK RUN CLUB: 6:30 pm, meet at Highland Park Corner Store (7789 Highland Park Way SW) for a 3-mile run through the neighborhood.

DOG-PARK BRIEFING: This previously postponed item (including siting for West Seattle’s second off-leash area) is back on the agenda for tonight’s meeting of the Seattle Board of Parks and Recreation Commissioners, 6:30 pm. UPDATE: Our previous link to attendance information turned out to be wrong. We asked Parks for correct information – here it is:

You are invited to a Zoom webinar.

When: Feb 22, 2024 06:30 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Topic: Board of Parks and Recreation Commissioners 2/22/24

Please click the link below to join the webinar:

zoom.us/j/91227156890?pwd=L1RvM3Y2azNEUTRJejJTNm9UNlJzQT09

Passcode: ParksNRec

Or Telephone:

Dial(for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):

+1 253 205 0468 US

+1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)

Webinar ID: 912 2715 6890
Passcode: 564353451

BLUES NIGHT: 6:30-9 pm at The Spot West Seattle (2920 SW Avalon Way), every Thursday you can listen to the blues.

THURSDAY NIGHT TRIVIA: Burger Planet (9614 14th SW) in White Center now has Thursday night trivia at 7 pm – prizes!

‘BORN WITH TEETH’: Final week for the current play at ArtsWest (4711 California SW; WSB sponsor), 7:30 pm – tickets here.

WHO WAS KIT MARLOWE? Before the play – or, even if you’ve already been (or haven’t gone yet) – free discussion at ArtsWest (4711 California SW; WSB sponsor), 6-7 pm. RSVP link is in our calendar listing.

Planning an event that should be on our calendar and in daily preview lists like this one? Email info to westseattleblog@gmail.com – thank you!

Remembering Darrellee Pavey, 1951-2023

Family and friends are remembering Darrellee Pavey, and sharing this remembrance with her community:

Darrellee Pavey of West Seattle passed away on December 26 at Swedish First Hill after a nine-year battle with lung cancer.

She was born on January 6, 1951, to Fred and Helen Ihrig, in Seattle. She was raised by her mother, spending time in Oklahoma as her stepfather was stationed in Ft. Sill, then later lived in South Park, now a portion of Tukwila. Later she moved with her mother to West Seattle, where she attended Madison Middle School and West Seattle High School. It was in this timeframe she met her future husband, Pat Pavey.

Darrellee was married on October 29, 1971 and started homemaking with her husband and first son, Sean David, in the South Admiral area until a new home was built in the Fauntleroy Springs area. Having moved only 200 feet from Fairmount Park Elementary School, she took up her passion to work with children and was employed by the school to watch over children during their breakfast and lunch breaks. She also took up being a mother to her second son, Travis Christian.

It was the spring of 2015 that she was rushed to Swedish First Hill hospital only to find out she had small cell lung cancer and started the long path to tratment, including three rounds of chemotherapy as well as radiation treatments. Even with this devastating diagnosis, Darrellee continued on with her loves. One of those loves was the raising of her Golden Retrievers, raising four of them. A second love was her home and garden, where she spent most of her free time.

With her husband’s retirement from the Seattle Fire Department, and her sons long moved from the family home, Darrellee made an effort to maintain a carefree life even with her ongoing treatments for her cancer, but in the end the cancer won out. The year 2023 became her toughest challenge, and with visits to the hospital lasting longer it became obvious she was losing the battle. Nevertheless she maintained her poise and did not let the inevitable sway her. She had promised her brother that she would make one more Christmas and that she did. She also made her fifty-second marriage anniversary, celebrating while in Swedish. Her passing was not a surprise but it still left her family in heartbreak. She is survived by her brother Nick Barrie, sons Sean David and Travis Christian, and her husband, Patrick.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries and memorial announcements by request, free of charge. Please email the text, and a photo if available, to westseattleblog@gmail.com)

TRAFFIC, TRANSIT, WEATHER: Thursday notes

6:01 AM: Good morning! It’s Thursday, February 22; second-to-last weekday of midwinter break for many local schools.

WEATHER + SUNRISE/SUNSET TIMES

Clearing and a high in the low-to-mid-50s highlight today’s forecast. Sunrise will be at 7:03 am, sunset at 5:43 pm.

ADVANCE ALERT

The two right northbound lanes on the 1st Avenue South Bridge are scheduled to be closed Saturday morning (February 24) for road work, 6 am-noon.

TRANSIT NOTES

Metro today – Regular schedule; check advisories here. Monday will be on the regular weekday schedule.

Water Taxi today – Regular schedule. Check the real-time map if you need to see where the boat is.

Washington State Ferries today – The usual 2 boats on the Triangle Route. Check WSF alerts for changes, and use the real-time map to see where your ferry is.

SPOTLIGHT TRAFFIC CAMERAS

Delridge cameras: Besides the one below (Delridge/Orchard), cameras are also at Delridge/Genesee, Delridge/Juneau, Delridge/Henderson, and Delridge/Oregon.

High Bridge – the main camera:

High Bridge – the view from its southwest end (when SDOT points the 35th/Avalon/Fauntleroy camera that way):

Low Bridge:

1st Ave. S. Bridge:

Highway 99: – northbound side at Lander:

MORE TRAFFIC CAMS: All functioning traffic cams citywide are here; West Seattle and vicinity-relevant cameras are on this WSB page.

BRIDGE INFO: The @SDOTBridges feed on X (ex-Twitter) shows whether the city’s movable bridges are opening for vessel traffic.

If you see a problem on the bridges/streets/paths/water, please text or call us (when you can do that safely, and after you’ve reported to authorities if they’re not already on scene). Thank you!

34th District Democrats hear from statewide candidates, advocates for Gazans @ February 2024 meeting

By Sean Golonka
Reporting for West Seattle Blog

Local members with the 34th District Democrats, the West Seattle area’s largest political organization, received a wide-ranging presentation on Gaza during the group’s online-only monthly meeting on Wednesday night, through a conversation that focused heavily on the Israel-Hamas conflict’s effects on families in Gaza.

Several candidates for statewide office — including Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal and Treasurer Mike Pellicciotti, Democrats who are both seeking re-election — also made appearances at the meeting, a sign the election season is getting underway, with the primary election set for August 6.

Focus on Gaza

Rachel Glass, the 34th DDs’ first vice-chair, said the conversation was motivated by an “urgent need for dialogue and education” to understand the complexities of the ongoing conflict, and the pre-meeting program featured two local community activists with longtime ties to Palestinians.

Read More

UPDATE: 35th/Morgan crash

8:31 PM: Avoid 35th/Morgan for a while – three of the four sides of the intersection are reported blocked because of a 2-car crash. Dispatch told officers that witnesses who called it in said one vehicle was speeding and hit the other. No serious injuries are reported, but they’ll have to tow the vehicles and clean up a reported fluid spill before the intersection can reopen.

8:57 PM: Police just told dispatch that 35th/Morgan has reopened.

BIZNOTE: Miss Kamei Japanese Restaurant? Here’s where to find it now

Two years after closing in the West Seattle Junction, the owners of Kamei Japanese Restaurant have justopened a new location in Tacoma. They contacted us today to ask us to share that news with their West Seattle fans. They sent a few photos, too.

You’ll find Kamei Sushi Restaurant at 10435 Pacific Avenue South in Tacoma, Tuesdays-Sundays 11 am-2:30 pm for lunch and 4:30-8:30 pm for dinner. It opened earlier this month. (The West Seattle building that replaced the former locations of Kamei and Lee’s Asian restaurants, at 4508 California SW, is nearing completion, but its commercial space will be taken by an urgent-care clinic, as we reported in December.)

FOLLOWUP: City approves new plan for 15 parking spaces at rebuilt/expanded Alki Elementary School

(New design proposal for Alki Elementary, with 15 parking spaces in southwest corner of site)

Two months after Seattle Public Schools proposed a new plan for the Alki Elementary rebuild/expansion, with 15 offstreet parking spaces instead of zero, the city has approved it. This comes six months after a city hearing examiner told SPS it had to revisit its no-on-site-parking plan, after nearby residents appealed the original city decision allowing nine zoning exceptions (“departures”) for the project. Without a zoning exception, the rebuilt/expanded school would require 48 spaces. We discovered the decision on the plan revision while checking online files today; it’s scheduled to be widely circulated via tomorrow’s twice-weekly Land Use Information Bulletin. From the 21-page decision document, here’s the bottom line:

In evaluating the initial parking departure request, the Director reviewed the district required school program, the DON recommendations, public comment, the proposed site plan, and location of the programmatic elements such as circulation, shared learning areas, outdoor play area, and classroom spaces, and all technical information and analysis. The Director approved the initial parking departure request (for zero on-site vehicular parking stalls) with the conditions listed at the end of this report (May 2023). The Hearing Examiner Decision (August 2023) returned the parking departure request back to the Director for additional study of parking impacts. Upon further review of the proposal, including the additional parking analyses, revised site plan (to include 15 on-site vehicular parking spaces), and all public comment, the Director finds that the departure is appropriate in relation to the character and scale of the area; there is a presence of edges, a right of way, a park and a topographic break which provides a transition in bulk and scale and the departure does not exacerbate or diminish the area character; and the departure will not significantly exacerbate traffic, noise, circulation, parking or impact housing or open space in the area.

The Director finds that the educational need for this departure is met and that the impacts of the proposal could be adequately mitigated by the conditions recommended by DON and the Director. Therefore, the Director grants the departure request …

The “educational need” is explained elsewhere in the decision document as the district’s contention that providing more parking would require actions that would affect how well the new school could function, Meantime, the decision argues that the new plan is actually an increase in official parking for the site, compared to the now-demolished school:

The proposed departure request will result in no significant loss of vehicular parking on site and will establish an increase in parking for the record. First, the prior Alki Elementary had a surface service area that was informally used by staff for vehicular parking and was estimated to accommodate approximately 19-20 vehicles. The hard surface play area north of the building (and off-site) is City of Seattle property and is signed for “Community Center Parking Only” but was used for school-event parking and was estimated to accommodate approximately 27 vehicles. In addition, there was a right-of-way that was used for informal parking at the northeast corner of the site, where Parks has a community center. This city property will continue to exist. Further, Parks has two parking spots for the community center that continue to exist (one 15-minute load space and one accessible permit space). To the east of these spaces are six spaces signed for “Alki Community Center Permitted Staff Parking Only.” SPS’s revised site plan for Alki Elementary now includes 15 medium-sized vehicular parking stalls with an ADA accessible space located in the southwest portion of the Alki Elementary site. The addition of these 15 parking spaces required redesign or elimination of project elements previously included in the design such as the staging area for delivery trucks and garbage pickup, location of the transformer, building storage space, bicycle storage area, and pedestrian path.

As with the original zoning-exception decision, this approval can be appealed. The publication notice explains how, and sets a deadline of March 7. The original plan was for Alki Elementary to hold classes at the former Schmitz Park Elementary this year and next, but the construction delay already has the district acknowledging Alki will be housed there for 2025-2026 too.