West Seattle, Washington
If the opinions voiced tonight at the first community meeting about the Delridge skatepark-to-be hold sway, that’s the spot where you’ll see skateboarders in the next year or two – the northeast corner of the park, at Delridge and Genesee, immediately north of the parking lot and wading pool (which made news earlier today). Less than two months after the sudden Parks Department decision to place a skatepark in Delridge, rather than High Point (briefly under consideration) or Myrtle Reservoir (not so briefly, but highly controversially, under consideration), the process is moving along with high hopes and seemingly abundant goodwill. Ahead, what tonight’s meeting was for, how much the skatepark project is expected to cost, and what happens next:Read More
Thanks to Mark Rhea for those photos of the Seafair fleet on “parade” in Elliott Bay this afternoon (first photo, a Navy and Coast Guard ship; second photo, two of the visiting Canadian ships; as we reported last night, the Coast Guard’s Local Notice to Mariners identifies the participating ships as USS Princeton, USS Germantown, USCGC Steadfast, and three Canadian ships – HMCS Yellowknife, HMCS Saskatoon, and HMCS Raven). You can tour them at Pier 90 tomorrow through Sunday; full details on the Seafair website. And tomorrow’s also the day you will start seeing the Blue Angels (who arrived on Monday; WSB video coverage here) practice, which also means I-90 bridge closures; tomorrow’s the one day with two separate closure periods, 9:45 am-noon and 1:15-2:30 pm – all closures are listed here. And we always put in a plug for the alternative way to enjoy the Blue Angels — by watching their takeoffs and landings at the Museum of Flight adjacent to Boeing Field (not that far from West Seattle) — explained in our “Seafair secrets” post from last year.
A resident of the townhouses behind Thriftway in Morgan Junction came home to that scene a couple hours ago – and says it was reportedly related to a suspected shoplifting attempt at the nearby store. Police were questioning one person; two others reportedly ran after the truck crashed into the fence. No injuries.
Just out of the WSB inbox, an update from Bill, who had sent us first word of Sound Mental Health renting a house near 32nd/Holden for potential use in the Re-entry Housing Pilot Program for people released from jail/prison (original WSB story, with more than 70 comments, can be found here): Bill says SMH told neighbors it is pulling out of the lease, with the homeowner’s agreement. Bill adds, “Our neighborhood is relieved we won’t have to deal with this experiment but we are nonetheless saddened that this could be thrust upon another block in the community without any prior notice. The program has some serious flaws and needs further media, political and public scrutiny.”
It’s been a challenging summer for the Southwest Precinct, dealing with some officer injuries (like this one) that have affected staffing, and forced some difficult choices. The precinct leader we mention the most, Lt. Steve Paulsen — who’s in charge of precinct operations, which means logistics, scheduling, and other planning/execution to keep West Seattle (and South Park) safe — has just written with a message for you about one resulting short-term change:
For the next month to month and a half, we are going to pretty much shut down our Community Police Team office. I have made the tough decision to put our Community Police Team back into patrol to get us through the rest of the summer. Given this temporary situation, I believe it is more important that our citizens have the officers in the field. The CPT officers will be working the areas they normally serve so they can keep current with issues to their assigned neighborhoods. What they won’t be able to do is answer/monitor their office telephone calls from citizens in the Precinct.
The good part is that we will be in the field, enhancing our current ability to provide a responsive service. If our citizens have non-emergency neighborhood issues that requires our attention — please feel free to contact Crime Prevention Specialist Benjamin Kinlow at 206-684-7724. Any other concerns, please contact the Southwest Precinct at 206-733-9800.
Again, thank you for your patience and support … We truly enjoy our partnership with our West Seattle community.
If you’re wondering “what’s the Community Police Team?” — these are officers assigned to certain sectors of the precinct’s area with primarily proactive, rather than reactive, duties — from working with community groups to address their concerns (we see CPT reps at many key meetings), to keeping close watch on potential trouble spots, even repeat visits to make themselves known. You can read about the CPT at this page on the SW Precinct website. Meantime, as Lt. Paulsen mentioned, it’s a “partnership” with you — and the next action you can take in this partnership is participating in Night Out, next Tuesday; it’s not too late to register your block (which gets you the right to close it down for the evening) – here’s the place to start.
That video is from our chat with Abby Suplizio, who leads the West Seattle chapter of CoolMom — the group that got first word of the September 7th Alki “Car-Free Day” (as reported here last Friday). We talked about their potential ideas for the big day, right after it was officially announced today at a beachfront news conference along Alki. Our first report from this morning has full details, including a map of the Harbor/California Way-to-Alki/63rd closure zone (direct map link here). Suplizio’s group members are not the only ones now brainstorming plans for ways to make the six-hour event (noon-6 pm) special — so are Coastal owners Christy Pudduck and Sarah Steere; at the news conference, Steere said they’re hoping not only to see new customers, but to entice West Seattle locals to really come enjoy the beach area:
Coastal, in fact, had a sandbox event out front of its Alki store back on May 31st to celebrate the 5th anniversary of their business (WSB photos here). So what about the operational specifics of the fact that that the September 7th “Car-Free Day” will not be entirely “car-free” along Harbor/Alki? Just ahead, what SDOT director Grace Crunican — who, like the mayor, lives in West Seattle — told us, plus a city request for help:Read More
On the sixth day of demolition, the old Schuck’s/Hancock building is finally all gone:
That’s the view from 40th, looking east toward Fauntleroy/Alaska; here’s the front view from 39th (note you can see straight through to Bank of America):
And the giant pile of wood debris has now morphed into this giant pile of wood chips:
One more demolition note, on a separate project – thanks to “Chuck and Sally’s Van Man” for the tip that the 6053 California (at Graham) demolition is actually proceeding from the alley side – couldn’t get close enough for a good look but the dumpster tells the tale (as does the sun dappling through the yellow paper covering the California-fronting windows):
At last Saturday’s city-organized forum focused on the two southeastern West Seattle sites under consideration for a possible jail for Seattle’s misdemeanor offenders (WSB coverage here), city reps mentioned this study was about to be released – and now it’s out: Whether a high-rise jail would be more efficient and cost-effective than a low-rise jail (which is what the city has been pursuing, and why it’s been focused on 7-acre sites like the two in this area). We’ve just started reviewing it – but it appears the answer is “no” – a high-rise jail would cost more. Read the full study here. ADDED 1:05 PM: Here are the main points, excerpted from the report, followed by (added at 2:42 pm) a comment from the city on “what’s next”:Read More
Three weeks ago, we told you about Delridge residents’ concern that none of eastern West Seattle’s city-run wading pools are open on Sundays, including the one in their neighborhood (shown above on a sunny Sunday earlier this month); read the original WSB article here. They had talked with the city, and we followed up with the Parks Department as well, but it seemed no reconsideration would be in order until the schedule for next year was drawn up, and the concerned wading-pool users were in the process of planning their next steps. Now – we have just received word of a breakthrough. Parks Board commissioner and Alki resident Jackie Ramels just told WSB moments ago that the city is about to announce that the Delridge wading pool WILL open on Sundays after all, for the rest of this season, five more Sundays starting this week. Delridge Neighborhood Services Coordinator Ron Angeles had also been working on this issue; a note to him from parks deputy superintendent Christopher Williams says in part, “Next year we will re-examine the wading pool operating schedule across the system in order to plan for the best overall distribution and access to wading pools in our system.” (Our original report included a map of which wading pools around the city were open on Sundays and which were not; in West Seattle, Lincoln Park and Hiawatha had been the only ones open on Sundays.)
First: The demolition work at the ex-Hancock/Schuck’s/future Fauntleroy Place site at Alaska/39th/Fauntleroy is in its second week, and as we’ve mentioned, it’s proceeded more slowly than many such jobs because so much of the old building is being recycled. This morning, en route back to WSB HQ from the Alki Car-Free Day announcement (report #1 here; report #2 in the works), we caught that photo of a grinder helping take care of the biggest pile, the wood debris. Second: We have word from Amy Lee Derenthal at The Kenney that: “Weâ€™re the first retirement community to join the Seattle Climate Partnership â€” the cityâ€™s arm to help employers reduce pollution that harms the planet.” She sends this photo:
That’s The Kenney’s facilities director Daniel Casey with Eva Nieto from the Dining Services staff. Food-waste recycling is part of what The Kenney is doing as part of its “greening,” along with using paper towels made from recycled fiber, switching to compact fluorescent light bulbs, and implementing energy-conservation measures such as turning off computer equipment at night. Casey is using a special database to track The Kenney’s “carbon footprint”; he also says the facility is looking at possibly installing solar-power features on the roofs of new buildings in the redevelopment project that’s coming up within the next few years (potentially doubling residential capacity, which is now at 180).
Quick reader report from Justin:
I had wheels and tires stolen from my garage last night near 42nd and Brandon. It has been reported to the police.
Thanks to Deborra for sending word. It’s also in the Traffic.com alerts you can find from the WSB Traffic page anytime – “Highway 99 – Past W. Seattle Brg – accident blocking all lanes – involving a hazmat situation; also blocking the on ramp from Spokane St.” 10:29 AM UPDATE: Note from this city traffic camera that the ramp off The Bridge is closed and things are already pretty jammed heading eastbound on The Bridge – see the “live” image (refresh the page for the latest) above. 10:39 AM UPDATE: Radio reports say the accident involves a gravel truck. We’re also checking to see if the “viaduct closed when flashing” lights are working, just out of curiosity. 10:45 AM UPDATE: The southernmost one on 35th is. 11 AM UPDATE: The “live” picture above shows that the ramp to The Viaduct just reopened, so all this should clear up in a while.
What we reported here last Friday night is now officially confirmed: Alki’s “Car-Free Day” is set for noon-6 pm Sunday, September 7th. According to the official information handed out at the announcement event that just concluded at Alki/Bonair with Mayor Nickels and SDOT director Grace Crunican (pictured above) — both West Seattleites — plus City Councilmember Jan Drago and others, the closure will be from Harbor Ave/California Way SW to Alki Ave/63rd. Here’s a map (the hikers mark the western and eastern ends of the closure):
Here’s video of the mayor explaining how he got into the spirit of the announcement while on the way there:
As we also had reported, the “Car-Free Day” won’t be entirely vehicle-free — there will be a lane for the Water Taxi shuttle and for residents who can’t get to Alki homes any other way; that’ll be the curb lane. Many more details and video to come in report #2; the mayor was joined at the announcement by West Seattleites including Christy Pudduck and Sarah Steere, the entrepreneurs who run Coastal on Alki — you’ll hear from them in report #2, along with Abby Suplizio, who leads the West Seattle chapter of CoolMom, the group that got first word of the impending announcement. Car-Free Days also were announced for Capitol Hill and Rainier Valley areas; read ahead for the official city news release:Read More
Starting with “beyond” — offshore, in this case:
ELLIOTT BAY: The Seafair fleet is expected to arrive in the bay around 1 pm, parading past Pier 66, docking at Pier 90, so there should be West Seattle viewing opportunities. More info here on Thursday-Sunday touring opportunities. According to the Coast Guard Local Notice for Mariners, the vessels expected include USS Princeton, USS Germantown, USCGC Steadfast, and three Canadian ships – HMCS Yellowknife, HMCS Saskatoon, and HMCS Raven.
ALKI: As previously mentioned, we’ll be there this morning for the mayor’s announcement of upcoming Car-Free Days, including one for Alki (you heard it here first last Friday; 9/7 is the expected day). We’ll send out first word of the official announcement as it happens via Twitter (check the aqua box halfway down the sidebar on all WSB pages).
DELRIDGE: First community meeting for the skatepark (which as reported here will be designed by a West Seattle firm), Delridge Community Center, 7:30 pm.
JUNCTION: Ginomai (SW corner of 42nd/Genesee) is the scene of the next “Project Runway” party to cheer for Hotwire Coffee (WSB sponsor) barista Blayne, doors open 8 pm, show on the big-screen TV at 9, bring a nonalcoholic beverage and small dessert to share.
Dozens more West Seattle events, from today on into 2009, all listed here.
For the third straight August, best-selling sci-fi/fantasy author Terry Brooks, who has a home in West Seattle, will mark the release of a new book with a reading/Q&A/book-signing event at the Westwood Village Barnes and Noble. (Read our August 2006 report here; our August 2007 report here – the photo at left is from that appearance.) According to Brooks’ website, terrybrooks.net, it’s at 6:30 pm on August 27th, one of two Seattle appearances he has planned in conjunction with the release of the next book in his “Genesis of Shannara” series, “The Gypsy Morph.” ASIDE TO BOOK FANS – ANOTHER B&N EVENT COMING UP THIS WEEK: We originally got into book-info-finding mode tonight after getting a note from the Westwood Village B&N about a book-release party this Friday night for a different author, different series (with a related discount offer for WSB’ers) – read on:Read More