day : 22/09/2008 17 results

Highland Park tonight: Crime report; “Nickelsville” vote; more

Before we get to the “Nickelsville” discussion at tonight’s Highland Park Action Committee meeting – which ended in a way you might not have expected – the rest of the agenda, including a “thank you” to a popular policeman:


That’s HPAC chair Dorsol Plants presenting a certificate of appreciation to Southwest Precinct Community Police Team officer Adonis Topacio. CPT officers (read about them here) are each assigned to proactively work a certain area of the Southwest Precinct’s region, and Officer Topacio’s includes Highland Park, so he’s often at HPAC meetings to present updates (like this one) and listen to concerns. Tonight, he offered some crime stats from the past month and a half in the Highland Park area: Four auto thefts, 13 car prowls, 15 burglaries. Overall, though, he said it had been a relatively quiet summer, but added that police are working to deal with the recent wave of gang graffiti (WSB report here). Also on the agenda tonight, two reps from the White Center Community Development Association with a briefing on what’s going on with their organization – we’ll be writing up those details for partner site White Center Now and will link back here when that’s up. No major updates on the jail-sites issue, meantime, as the process is idling somewhat while Seattle awaits its potential partners to offer more suggested sites; Dan Mullins is trying to organize more Duwamish-corridor business owners to get involved with opposition to the WS sites and said a meeting with at least two City Council members is planned later this fall. Plants warned tonight’s attendees that if HPAC participation (about 20 people were on hand tonight) dwindles out of complacency, it raises the chances unpopular projects like this will turn up in the area. But the latest development at the potential jail site closest to Highland Park, “Nickelsville,” drew what some might consider a surprising reaction – read on to see why:Read More

What should be in the next Seattle Public Schools levy?

The school district is gearing up for a capital levy that’ll likely go to voters in February 2010, and starting meetings now to ask for input on what to ask voters to spend on. The first West Seattle meeting is set for October 10, West Seattle High School library, flyer here.

Monday night notes: Creative teens; Poet Populist; volunteers

CREATIVE TEENS: Just announced,, offering teens and young adults (13-21) a place to sound off and speak out – kicking off with a contest; read about it here. (We’ll be helping judge part of the contest, if they haven’t thrown us off the panel for missing a meeting when all that news was breaking this afternoon.)

POET POPULIST: Mike Hickey, husband of West Seattle’s funniest blog author (Mona from, is in the running for Poet Populist of Seattle. Mona writes about it here; you can vote for Mike here. (We should note, there’s another West Seattle candidate too.)

VOLUNTEERS: We showed you the big Camp Long work party with NAIOP on Saturday; several other groups had work parties/cleanups that day, including this one from which we just got pix:


onlinecleanup2.jpg and Keen Footwear were part of the Delridge Natural Area work party on Saturday; we couldn’t get over to take pix but invited them to send us some (any volunteer effort you’re part of, we’d love to see your pix too, preferably within a couple days of when it happened, the sooner the better, There are more work parties in West Seattle’s greenspaces every Saturday (among other times); is the best place to get a sneak peek, but we put them in the West Seattle Weekend Lineup every Friday morning too.

Delridge shooting investigation

This just in from co-publisher Patrick at the Highland Park Action Committee meeting: Community Police Team officer Adonis Topacio is briefing the group and mentioned there was a shooting late today near the Delridge Community Center. A man was hurt and is at the hospital but according to officer Topacio, is “non-cooperative.” No arrest reported so far. More details as we learn them.

New transportation option for West Seattle Microsoft employees


(part of the route map; click image to see the full regional map)
A friend who works at Microsoft has solved a mystery we started looking into when we discovered a entry on the WSB Twitter page that said “Woo-hoo! West Seattle connector routes announced!” Metro? Sound Transit? Couldn’t find anything re: those services. Then our friend e-mailed to say West Seattle is one of nine areas being added to the Microsoft Connector employee bus service, as of October 6th. (The service started just last year.) ADDED 10:14 PM: Thanks to another source who sent the route map; click the image above to see the whole regional layout.

Update: Victim dies after California-Dawson crash


Seattle Police have just updated their media-line information about the pedestrian-vehicle crash at California/Dawson by Rite Aid earlier this afternoon (previous WSB coverage here), and they say the victim – still described only as an “elderly woman” — has just died at Harborview Medical Center. She was crossing eastward at about quarter till 1 this afternoon, apparently in the crosswalk, when a southbound vehicle hit her. That section of California south of The Junction was closed for about three hours so investigators (photo above) could examine the scene. The victim is the second person hit and killed by a vehicle in West Seattle in less than a month and a half; just last August, 39-year-old Gregory Hampel was hit and killed on 35th SW near Camp Long (here’s our report) – almost parallel to the scene of this afternoon’s crash, half a mile east.

“Nickelsville” homeless-camp update: Organizers defiant



(photos by WSB contributing photojournalist Christopher Boffoli)
A few more tidbits on “Nickelsville,” the homeless encampment set up near the southeast corner of Highland Park Way/West Marginal Way in eastern West Seattle (here’s our first report). So far as we can tell from the people we talked with at the site, they were unaware that they happen to have set their camp up at one of two West Seattle locations on the “final four” list of potential city-jail sites; just a coincidence. We told them we had just seen the mayor interviewed on TV, saying the city would treat this camp like any other – post a 72-hour warning, then clear it. Here’s what spokesperson Anitra Freeman said in response to that:

We pressed for more specifics – so when/if the posting goes up, what exactly will you do? She said the camp is not operating “top down,” so they would call residents together for “a meeting.” We’ll keep an eye on what happens here; as mentioned in our previous report, it will come up at tonight’s Highland Park Action Committee meeting (7 pm, Highland Park Improvement Club at 11th/Holden); in fact, HPAC chair Dorsol Plants just confirmed to WSB that he has visited the site and “has representatives coming to the meeting.” (5:35 PM note, just saw TV pix of city crews already delivering the 72-hour warning to the scene, while organizers promise “a standoff.”) Meantime, while WSB contributing photojournalist Christopher Boffoli was shooting the photo you see atop this report, he also happened onto a not-so-trumpeted encampment in the nearby woods, where he caught these scenes:




P.S. If you are interested in reading some backstory, Blogging Georgetown points to this blogpost by an organizer;

Neighborhood-plan updates, the next step

Many neighborhood activists and advocates around West Seattle, as well as around the rest of the city, are watching to see what happens with city government’s announced intention to reopen the official neighborhood plans for potential updates. So we wanted to pass along the official city news release about action taken by council members today. West Seattle has no areas up for the first round of intensive review, but will have areas eligible for the “status review” mentioned here:Read More

Alert for Alki walkers/bikers: Pump-station project closes path

September 22, 2008 3:07 pm
|    Comments Off on Alert for Alki walkers/bikers: Pump-station project closes path
 |   Utilities | West Seattle news

This update just in from King County Wastewater Treatment, which is overseeing the 53rd Avenue Pump Station project at 53rd/Alki:

In order to excavate to the full depth necessary for pump station construction, King County’s contractor has brought in large machinery which must be set in the pedestrian and bike path adjacent to the construction site. During the week of September 22, pedestrians and cyclists will be shifted to the sidewalk on Alki Ave. SW. The temporary shift is necessary to provide a safe pathway for the public. Flaggers will be on site during work hours to assist pedestrians and cyclists.

Update: Pedestrian accident closes California south of Dawson


That’s by the Rite-Aid south of The Junction. Multiple reader reports say it’s because of a pedestrian/vehicle accident. Working to find out more. 2:55 PM UPDATE: Seattle Police spokesperson Officer Mark Jamieson has the details: A vehicle heading southbound on California hit an “elderly female pedestrian” who was crossing California eastbound right at Dawson in front of Rite-Aid. She’s at Harborview (which usually means serious injuries) and he doesn’t have an update on her condition. The street’s still closed while investigators do their job, but he says most people are managing to detour around the side streets or cut through the Rite-Aid parking lot to get around the section that’s closed. 3:03 PM UPDATE: Officers at the scene say they’ll probably reopen California there within the hour. Meantime, Rite-Aid is definitely the detour – we got the proof on cam (nothing earthshaking here, just a video site note):

4:55 PM UPDATE: The street’s open again.

Details: New vision for coordinating Junction development, improvements


That’s one page from the presentation made to the City Council this morning by Junction business and development representatives – a vision for Fauntleroy Way as it passes through the area known as the “Gateway” or “Triangle” – potentially turning it into a tree-median boulevard. Read on for our full report on what’s being proposed for Fauntleroy, California, and Alaska in the area, including a dramatic new suggestion for how to stave off what many have called the “canyon effect” of the tall development for which much of the area is zoned:Read More

New homeless encampment in West Seattle: “Nickelsville”


(cameraphone photo added 2:28 pm, more pix/vid to come in separate post a bit later)
Just set up in the 7100 block of West Marginal Way (map); we’ll head out for pix in a bit but in the meantime, you can see one on its official website. This, by the way, is at the intersection with Highland Park Way, same vicinity as one of the two potential city-jail sites in West Seattle. Organizers say they hope to make this a “permanent” encampment. The location was kept secret till organizers and participants, who met at four locations last night (according to their Google group) to make the move, actually set it up. According to their website, “While we are on Duwamish land, Nickelodeans are fearful that Mayor Nickels does not understand this.” The address they give, 7115 West Marginal, is Pacific Plumbing Supply’s property; we’ll check when we’re down there to see exactly what parcel they’re on. 1:10 PM UPDATE: The mayor told KING5 in an interview that just aired, “We will treat it like any other encampment – we will post it, and then clear it.” To “post” it means giving the residents 72 hours’ notice to clear out, as was done in the case of the Camp Long encampment covered here on WSB earlier this year. 2:01 PM UPDATE: Co-publisher Patrick is at the site and reports it’s on the river side of West Marginal, about 20 yards southeast of the intersection with Highland Park Way. Checking that on Parcel Viewer now … site has multiple owners but comparing it with aerial photograph of proposed jail site, looks like it’s definitely within those boundaries:


2:29 PM UPDATE: Seems the squatters didn’t know this was a proposed jail site – just a coincidence – or so they tell us; co-publisher Patrick, who is en route back with video etc., reports it’s fairly disorganized. Media swarming, of course; we ran into one newspaper columnist and one wire-service reporter. And this is now certain to be discussed at tonight’s prescheduled Highland Park Action Committee meeting (7 pm, Highland Park Improvement Club, 11th/Holden).

No bank account? No problem! says the city

This just in from the mayor’s office. We’re all thinking about banks a little more than usual given what’s happening in the $ world, so this program for the “unbanked” may affect more people than before – read on:Read More

Update: Council discussion with West Seattleites, toplines

September 22, 2008 10:34 am
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 |   Development | West Seattle politics

ORIGINAL POST: You can watch live online at, or on cable TV at channel 21, the discussion previewed here is about to start, a bit later than expected since previous City Council business ran long. If anything major is revealed, we’ll add it to this post ASAP before writing our full report afterward. West Seattle businesses and developers are being briefed by Junction Association president Dave Montoure, Junction-based architect Brandon Nicholson, and Harbor Properties’ Denny Onslow. 10:55 AM UPDATE: A couple major proposals – the Junction Association (officially a “business improvement district”) is looking to expand its jurisdiction into the “Triangle” area into the east; the group’s suggestion is for a “view corridor” on developments along California, meaning the tallest parts of the buildings would be set back a ways from the street, so the facades along California would not be as tall; tree grates along California in The Junction to expand “walkable” surface on the narrow sidewalks. 11:06 AM UPDATE: Another major proposal: A median with trees along the section of Fauntleroy through the “Triangle” area. (We have the illustrations that are being shown today and will include them in our report afterward.) 11:22 AM UPDATE: The discussion is over. What we mentioned previously are the main headlines; stand by for that full report including the visuals of California, Fauntleroy, and Alaska and their potential futures.

3 notes: Bingo and Scouts tonight, car-seat recycling Wednesday

September 22, 2008 10:26 am
|    Comments Off on 3 notes: Bingo and Scouts tonight, car-seat recycling Wednesday
 |   Fun stuff to do | Safety | WS miscellaneous

BINGO: Derek, who discovered Monday night bingo at Alki UCC Church after the last time we mentioned it here, noticed it had vanished from our events calendar (oops! fixed!) and wanted to remind all would-be players it’s happening weekly – doors open 5:30 pm, games start 6:30 pm. More on this page of the Alki UCC website.

SCOUTS: Just got a note from Suzanne saying that tonight is Recruitment Night for Cub Scout Pack 284 at Gatewood Elementary School library, 6:30 pm: “Some of the Pack’s leadership and parents will be there to answer any questions about joining Cub Scouts. Our first Pack meeting of the school year will be Thursday at Our Lady of Guadalupe’s cafeteria at 7pm. First – Fifth grade boys are welcome to show up and check out what happens at the Pack meeting and hear about what scouts did over the summer including camp, hiking and the West Seattle Parade.” (ADDED 12:02 PM) Also: John e-mailed to say “Cub Scout pack #285 is having their recruitment night at 6:30 in the community room of St. John’s the Baptist Episcopal Church located (just west of West Seattle High School) at 3050 California Avenue SW. Pack 285 is one of the oldest Cub Scout packs in West Seattle and we are meeting to welcome new Cub Scouts and talk to parents who are interested in scouting. We will also be reviewing this summer’s activities and looking ahead at the fun events we have planned for the year. Boys in the 1st through 5th grade are welcome to join in. Contact Assistant Cubmaster John Woodworth @ 206-265-3295 or Cubmaster John Hoene at 206-372-3153 if you cannot make tonight’s meeting.”

CAR-SEAT RECYCLING: If you have car/booster seat(s) you’re not using – and can get to IKEA in Renton on Wednesday – you can be part of a first-of-its-kind event that WestSide Baby‘s Nancy Woodland just e-mailed to announce – though it’s not in West Seattle, it’s for families here and all over the south King County area. The event also includes safety checks for the car/booster seats you’re using now, and kids’ helmets too; read on for full details:Read More

Happening today/tonight: College, council, campus, committee

September 22, 2008 6:07 am
|    Comments Off on Happening today/tonight: College, council, campus, committee
 |   Development | Highland Park | West Seattle news | Westwood

THIS MORNING: First day of fall-quarter classes at South Seattle Community College. (So 16th SW will be busier, among other effects.)

THIS MORNING: Seattle City Council members hear from Junction business leaders, developers, and city reps regarding potential public-private coordination as big projects change the face of the “Fauntleroy Triangle,” in a briefing organized by West Seattle-residing Councilmember Tom Rasmussen. According to the agenda, this briefing should start around 10:15 am; you’ll be able to watch it live at or cable TV channel 21. We’ll be covering it and will post here and via Twitter when it’s about to begin.

THIS AFTERNOON: The “design team” that will help shape the future of the Denny Middle School site, once the new Denny is built on the Chief Sealth High School campus, meets for the first time at 3 pm today at Denny.

TONIGHT: Highland Park Action Committee, 7 pm, Highland Park Improvement Club (10th/Holden). The jail-site search is in a bit of a lull but this group is continuing its work – and tackling other issues, too (last month, it was a presentation on the Spokane Street Viaduct project, which just kicked in with the lower eastbound Spokane St. shutdown last week).