West Seattle, Washington
Thanks to Jason for that photo from the Fauntleroy/Vashon/Southworth run tonight, looking back at the moon over Fauntleroy. Last pitch – if you took pix, saved items, or otherwise acquired/created/compiled something to submit for Alki Statue of Liberty Plaza time-capsule consideration, you have till year’s end to turn it in (details here). ADDED FRIDAY MORNING (BUT TAKEN THURSDAY): Wanted to be sure to include a photo of Andrea Mercado from the Log House Museum/Southwest Seattle Historical Society, which is coordinating the time capsule – Don Kelstrom got this photo of Andrea taking a call from someone yesterday about a capsule contribution:
Two quick toplines from tonight’s city Board of Park Commissioners meeting: The nudity rules we covered yesterday are mostly toast. The board, led by vice chair Jackie Ramels of Alki, asked for more information on what complaints really had resulted from events for which permits had been issued (such as the World Naked Bike Ride, September photo at left shared by Mac), and suggested revisiting that in a few months; separately, they also asked staff to take a closer look at a possible clothing-optional beach. Dozens of people concerned about the proposed nudity rules showed up, but didn’t testify because this was a briefing, not a public hearing. Meantime, the plan to seek proposals for private operation of West Seattle Stadium moved forward. Read on for those details:Read More
Two notes from the West Seattle fine-dining scene: First, if you missed previous coverage, Beato Food and Wine closes after tomorrow. Second, Spring Hill has announced a few changes – one addition on Sundays, and one special offering on Mondays, which means SH will now be open 7 nights a week — read on:Read More
Two quick mentions — part of what’s making this a hot Thursday night in West Seattle, even with fall chill in the air: 6-9 pm, West Seattle Art Walk, more than 40 venues, get the map and the details – lots of artists’ receptions and other fun features – by going here. Then at 9:30 at Bamboo on Alki, it’s the second-to-last week for “Alki Idol” – Tonight the field is cut to 6 finalists who then compete next Thursday night for more than $1,000 in prizes. Tom Hutyler hosts, DJ Christopher Mychael does karaoke.
Left to right, that’s Steve Pierce from SDOT (city), Ron Paananen from WSDOT (state), and Ron Posthuma from King County, as they delivered the latest briefing on data available as the three levels of government race toward a recommendation on Alaskan Way Viaduct] Central Waterfront replacement by year’s end. (They confirmed today, the timetable hasn’t changed.) The cozy briefing room downtown was crammed with media – this gratuitous TV-photographer shot is on behalf of Time Capsule Day:
Now, back to the information. Lots presented. You can read it all here, under “meeting materials.” But the bottom line: The most significant findings released today (and being discussed tonight with the Viaduct Stakeholders Advisory Committee) had to do with potential travel times under the range of scenarios (all detailed here, on page 12 and 13 in particular) under consideration. Some West Seattle-specific breakouts were available: For vehicles, the fastest scenario northbound from WS to downtown in the morning would be the “four-lane surface” Option A, with “demand management” potentially including a “cordon toll” to get into the city. That is estimated to take 20 minutes (7 more than today), but the fastest route back the other way in the afternoon/evening would be “integrated elevated” Option E (20 minutes southbound in the PM, compared to 13 right now). For transit, they envision the current 21-minute average trip from West Seattle to downtown only increasing by a few minutes under any scenario (to 21 minutes in the morning; that was the only estimate provided) – and they pointed out that means transit and vehicle time will be much more comparable in the future, perhaps enticing more people to try transit. Overall, if you evaluated only in terms of travel time, the briefers acknowledged that an elevated replacement would be the closest to what we have now.
WHAT’S NEXT: One week from today, one major missing puzzle piece will be public – the cost analysis of the potential scenarios. Then on December 4th, components from these 8 scenarios, evaluated on six principles, will be cobbled into what’s expected to be three final options, from which the eventual choice would emerge. (As Paananen put it this afternoon, “In the end we’re going to take these 8 and boil it down to more like 3, but these three will represent the best of the 8, not an exact replica of any one.”) Right now, $2.8 billion is available for the project – a third of it already committed to work that’s under way – so funding for the eventual choice isn’t even a done deal yet.
More photos just to capture the scenery on the day that’s being recorded for posterity — with contributions of “life as we lived it on 11/13/08” being accepted for consideration for inclusion in the time capsule that will be buried next year at the Alki Statue of Liberty Plaza, for opening on this date in 2058 (11/13 is the anniversary of the Denny Party‘s landing on Alki in 1851). Above, we didn’t pull over in quite enough time to get a head-on shot of what appeared to be a father and son on wheels – with their dog leading the way – liked the photo anyway. Minutes earlier, this shot from the Duwamish Head viewpoint looking back at the downtown skyline:
About an hour before that, we took this photo from the meeting room at Alaskan Way Viaduct project headquarters, 24th floor of the Wells Fargo building at 3rd/Madison downtown – we’re about to write up the West Seattle-specific results of the briefing we attended there – that report’s next.
“Time Capsule Day” continues till 11:59 pm, so if you see, receive, create something you might want to submit for consideration – this previous WSB post explains how to do that.
We promised the latest on Richard Lovejoy, the convicted rapist arrested in Fauntleroy early Sunday after a helicopter-involved search following one burglary and another attempt (here’s our Monday report on his first post-arrest hearing, which includes links to our previous coverage). This afternoon, we’ve heard back from King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office spokesperson Dan Donohoe: Bail for Lovejoy was set at $75,000 for the burglary investigation (no formal charges filed yet), but he will not be released any time soon, according to Donohoe, because there’s a probation hold on him stemming from a 2004 domestic-violence conviction (felony harassment and violation of a no contact order). Donohoe tells WSB, “We will ask the sentencing judge in the 2004 case to schedule a sentence revocation hearing. No date has been set, but this hearing would take place in about one to two weeks,” and says Lovejoy will remain in custody at least till then.
Early this morning, WSB Forum members discussed hearing gunshots. We couldn’t find anything obvious on scanner/911 at the time. This morning, however, Seattle Police have posted a report on the SPD Blotter site; shots fired in the 20th/Henderson vicinity, nobody hit/hurt, but bullets pierced the wall of a home; no arrests reported so far. Just a reminder, any and all West Seattle entries from SPD Blotter are automatically posted on the WSB Crime Watch page as soon as the police department publishes them – you can check the Crime Watch page for the latest updates from SPD Blotter and WSB coverage, any time.
We reported here last month that the mayor’s budget for next year included money to repave Fauntleroy Way between Alaska and California. Now there’s word – announced at last night’s Pedestrian Advisory Board meeting and confirmed with a city Transportation Department announcement that’s just been released – that re-alignment might be part of the deal:
SEATTLE—SDOT is considering re-striping Fauntleroy Way Southwest from Southwest Alaska Street to California Avenue Southwest to improve safety, pedestrian access and bicycle usage. When the street is paved, SDOT would reconfigure the motor vehicle travel lanes to provide one lane in each direction with a center turn lane. Also, the pedestrian crossings on Fauntleroy would be improved and bicycle lanes with shared lane pavement markings would be provided. SDOT does not anticipate
To provide more information on the proposed changes, SDOT will hold an open house on Monday, December 1, from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. The meeting will be at the High Point Community Center, 6920 34th Avenue SW.
Right now, as you know if you drive it regularly, most of that stretch has 2 lanes in each direction, no turn lane. In recent months, SDOT has been busy with other jobs in the same area – several curb cuts are under construction right now (the photo above shows signage for one project); a radar speed sign is in place; and a new signal’s been installed.
Under the full moon, with low-enough clouds to capture and reflect city light closer to the horizons, 2 am looked more like 5 am at the Alki Statue of Liberty Plaza. We wanted to take a picture there in the wee hours, to start the day that will be memorialized in the time capsule that’ll be buried at the plaza next year, and we’re going to print/digitally record today’s WSB posts to submit for consideration. Remarkably peaceful at the plaza at that hour – no wind, no rain, clearly audible birdsong at sea, way offshore. On the way back to WSB HQ, another classic West Seattle night sight:
Any photo you take today, or other item that might show people in 50 years how life was lived in Seattle (not just West Seattle) on 11/13/08 (meeting agenda? grocery receipt? event flyer? printed-out personal blog/online diary page?), can be contributed – the “when” and “how” are detailed here.
That photo is courtesy of Abby Suplizio, a West Seattle leader of CoolMom.org, whose members and volunteers have sorted donations and are ready for the first CoolMom Holiday Toy Swap ‘n’ Sale – 9 am-1 pm this Saturday at the Camp Long Lodge. Beneficiaries also include WestSide Baby and West Seattle Food Bank, which will get the proceeds from paper turkeys (cut out from used cereal boxes! CoolMom notes) sold for $2 to $20. According to a CoolMom reminder: “We have gotten some great items – bikes, trikes, and push toys; puzzles & games; barbies; baby gear, music, art, and other developmental activities; lots of brand names and much much more.” (Note that the “swap” aspect of it happened in advance – those who donated to the sale, as mentioned in this WSB preview, got a $5 sale credit for each bag of toys donated.)
SECOND SWAP: Sustainable West Seattle has just announced that on December 8th, everyone’s welcome to its first “Money Free Shopping Spree” gathering – a potluck and a gift swap. The SWS announcement says, “Items to be swapped are handmade crafts (candle, soap, ornament, handmade paper, art, cards…) or food (jam, preserves, chutney, beer, cookies…) or services (bike tune, garden consultation, weeding, dinner for two, babysitting, cooking lesson, home energy consultation …” This event also is at the Camp Long Lodge, 6-9 pm 12/8.
First the quicker note: The next meeting of the Denny Middle School Site Design Team (most recent WSB coverage here) has been rescheduled and expanded – the 11/17 evening meeting’s been called off, and a Saturday 11/22 9 am-1 pm “design charrette” at Camp Long Lodge will replace it. Now, the more complicated note: As expected, the Seattle School Board moved forward last night — in a four-plus-hour meeting — with notification-policy changes that will facilitate a tight timeline for the next round of school closures. Superintendent Dr. Maria Goodloe-Johnson also described the criteria on which schools are being evaluated:
• Geographic Need: How to balance capacity across the district to ensure the appropriate number of seats in each geographic area.
• Building Condition: Recent surveys and analyses will be used to evaluate the quality and condition of each building, using factors such as cost of maintenance, lot size, etc.
• Cost per Pupil: How non-instructional costs per student, including both core staffing and administrative mitigation, compare with District averages.
• Proximity: Whether other nearby schools serve the same grade levels.
• Academic Performance: Whether the school has made the expected annual academic progress under the federal No Child Left Behind law.
The first draft of the proposed closure list is to be announced on November 25th. A whirlwind process of public hearings immediately before and after the district’s winter break would follow. The full timeline appears again in the post-meeting district news release (from which the criteria list above is excerpted); which you can read it in its entirety here.