West Seattle, Washington
In its two-months-so-far fight against two proposed city-jail sites in southeast West Seattle, the Highland Park Action Committee has seen some of the same city reps more than once, particularly Doug Carey, the main person on the hot seat at the contentious South Park forum June 26th (WSB coverage here). But tonight, the city sent in a different team to represent its side of the jail-site story: Fleets and Facilities deputy director Mary Pearson (photo left) and Office of Policy and Management senior policy adviser Catherine Cornwall. They took questions for about 40 minutes, after opening remarks. Toplines ahead:Read More
(photo added 9:59 pm – the new Miss Hi-Yu posing for pix with her parents Ramona and Robert)
At Grace Church, the 2008 Miss West Seattle Hi-Yu Coronation has just concluded with Margo Femiano, who graduated from Chief Sealth High School last month (as class president!), chosen as the new queen. The princesses are Alicia Watanabe and Katie Tarabochia. More on the big night (including video) later!
Just uphill from the P-Patch pilfering we reported here last night, there’s trouble at Solstice Park (formerly Lincoln Park Annex): Pam from Nerd’s Eye View reports “the markers (there) are COVERED with tagging … it’s not just a paint-over deal, these are carved stone markers.” Pam says police told her it had to be reported by the victim – in this case the Seattle Parks Department – so she called the department’s maintenance hotline (206-684-7250) to alert them.
Though Mayor Nickels has publicly expressed opposition to sending a new parks levy to Seattle voters before 2010, a majority of City Council members just voted to ask you to vote on the Parks and Green Spaces Levy this November, which is when the current Pro Parks Levy expires – a unanimous vote by all 7 councilmembers (with Sally Clark and Richard McIver absent). The current version, which has undergone a tweak here and a tweak there since the Citizens’ Advisory Committee approved it a few weeks back, totals $145 million over six years, which reportedly will cost the average homeowner about $70 a year. “The reason we’re doing this is is that parks are the affordable place to go in renewing our spirits,” said Council President Richard Conlin. West Seattle-residing Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, who chairs the Parks Committee, thanked the many people who took the time to attend public hearings and offer comments, saying, “It’s been a very good public process,” even if it didn’t “take as long as the usual Seattle process” and, in looking ahead to what a new park levy might accomplish, reflected on the excitement that surrounds the opening of a new park – just nine days ago, he was at the dedication of Ercolini Park west of The Junction (below left, with Parks Superintendent Tim Gallagher):
Back to the pre-vote speeches: “This is a very deliberative process we’ve gone through (with public hearings and a citizens’ advisory committee),” said Councilmember Tim Burgess. “Some of the greatest public works projects in our country have been done during tough economic times.” Councilmember Nick Licata said, “There’s been some criticism our citizens have become overburdened with levies … (but) this was not created by council alone.” Councilmember Jean Godden said, “Everybody cares about parks … parks touch everyone.” Councilmember Jan Drago said, “I have reservations about placing this on the ballot … because of (a) lack of prioritization, I believe we will have three competing ballot issues,” but she added, “I have decided to let the voters decide.” Councilmember Bruce Harrell said he has “faith” voters will make the right decision after “scrutinizing” everything on the ballot. The council already approved the mayor’s proposal to put a Pike Place Market renovation-money levy on the same ballot, November 4th; the other one to which Drago referred is a likely Sound Transit levy. The mayor could veto the levy, but only six councilmembers’ votes would be needed to override (and as we mentioned, seven voted “yes” today).
That video clip and another one we posted on YouTube after the 9/14/07 Mars Hill Church baptisms at Alki remain the most-viewed WSB videos ever (while also among our lowest-quality clips, since we got our first video camera just three days earlier). In the ten months since, not only have we gone through some changes, so has the Mars Hill-West Seattle website, where we just found this update with word a new round of Alki baptisms is planned during an end-of-summer barbecue, 6-9 pm August 26th. While the post proclaims, “A West Seattle summer would not be complete without a beach baptism event on Alki,” at this point it’s not described as a regional event, unlike last year, which MH leader Mark Driscoll declared “the biggest mass baptism in Seattle history” (WSB coverage here).
The clock ticks, Alaskan Way Viaduct traffic rumbles on, and the roar of reminders about looming viaduct change gets increasingly louder. In the past six days, we covered two major meetings with viaduct info that will interest anyone who drives it – first, the public comment meeting for the South End Replacement Project “environmental assessment” (and the comment period’s not over yet, so there’s still time for you to have a say), then the advisory committee briefing on why the semi-short list of Central Waterfront options does not include a retrofit (photo above is from that event). Read on for what you should know about both – including links where you can see the full PowerPoint-type presentations from both events:Read More
Douglas Cox and Kevin Palmer, arrested after the July 1st robbery at the Admiral/California Wells Fargo that led to a standoff downtown (in which police shot Cox after he refused to drop what turned out to be a pellet gun), were both in court today and pleaded not guilty, according to the Times. (We posted excerpts from the charging papers here on July 7th.)
THIS AFTERNOON: City website says the City Council may vote today on whether to send the Parks and Green Spaces Levy to the ballot, after its 2:30 pm Committee of the Whole meeting @ City Hall downtown. TONIGHT: Miss West Seattle Hi-Yu Coronation @ Grace Church, 7 pm; Highland Park Action Committee (jail-sites fight and more) @ Highland Park Improvement Club, 7 pm; Sustainable West Seattle, 7:30 pm @ Camp Long. More events in West Seattle (and/or of WS relevance) for the days/weeks/months to come, on the WSB Events calendar page.
We wanted to know why a neighborhood flag was half-lowered, so of course, we asked “The Google.” The Kitsap Sun says it’s in honor of a Seattle soldier killed in Afghanistan. Per the governor’s website, this is done when any member of the Armed Forces from our state is killed while on active duty. Guess we should have known that already; now we do.
Less than two weeks after work began at the site of the Alki Statue of Liberty Plaza, with temporary removal of the statue and demolition of the old base and surrounding asphalt, concrete is being poured this morning. Meantime, as we mentioned in coverage of last Thursday’s Alki Community Council meeting, the committee that raised $ for the plaza is looking for volunteer help again to plan the Sept. 6th dedication — and inviting potential volunteers to a July 31st picnic next to the construction site. ADDED MONDAY EVENING: More photos, thanks to David Hutchinson:
After a couple weeks of stagnation, gas prices are dropping a bit, so we’ve taken our West Seattle-wide Gas Price Watch survey for the first time in 3 weeks. You can see the regular and premium prices at each station by clicking locations on the map above (we’ve added the newly reopened Roxbury station, so there are 21 West Seattle stations in all) — or read on for the text list, lowest price to highest, including comparisons going as far back as 12 weeks:Read More