West Seattle, Washington
From tonight’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting (last one of the year – the group won’t meet in December), not only the latest crime-trend toplines from police, but also citizen reports – including a store reportedly selling troubling merchandise – read on:Read More
That was the scene this morning near 37th and Lander (map). We stopped by after a call from city arborist Nolan Rundquist, who thought some passersby might be interested in why the trees were coming down: He says six big trees there had to go because of Dutch Elm disease — three were dead; the other three were dying and in danger of infecting others if not taken down. (We published a city warning about this disease, with some explanatory details, last August.) Rundquist told us a crew had a two-day window open during work being done for City Light, so they got busy in this neighborhood, at no cost to the homeowners. He added that some Bridging the Gap money might be available to replant in the neighborhood as soon as next spring.
Gary Dawson with the Fauntleroy Community Association, who is the group’s lead on ferry-related issues, reports big changes in the Washington State Ferries plan for the future of not only the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth “triangle” route, but of the Fauntleroy terminal itself. He writes:
Monday, the 17th, the Washington State Legislature Joint Transportation Committee met in Seattle in the Puget Sound Regional Council conference room.
The entire agenda was dedicated to Washington State Ferries Long Range Plan, Legislative bill ESB5328, Ferry Finance Study, Customer Survey report, and other items related to WSF.
Of note to West Seattle was the portion of the LRP related to the Vashon/Southworth/Fauntleroy route, known as the triangle.
For the last few years WSF has proposed that to accommodate population and ferry user growth in south Kitsap County, the Southworth to Fauntleroy service would be rerouted to downtown Seattle at Colman Dock sometime in the next few years. A rebuild of Colman Dock including an additional ferry slip for the Southworth operation was to be part of that plan.
Yesterday it was revealed WSF no longer plans to enhance Colman Dock for additional growth, but to continue the triangle route as is. At some time later WSF will dedicate one of their ferries to operate between Southworth and Fauntleroy only, and two vessels between Vashon and Fauntleroy.
In addition the plan calls for expanding the Fauntleroy dock holding to accommodate the equivalent of one vessel’s amount of vehicles. Also, it is planned to erect a passenger overhead walkway on the dock as well to all walk-on passengers to proceed directly to the passenger deck on the ferry.
Rerouting Southworth traffic directly to downtown would eliminate about 40% of the current ferry traffic on West Seattle streets, not including future growth that is predicted to double in 20 years. The newly proposed WSF plan forces that traffic to continually be a part of the West Seattle commute.
The plan in its entirety can be found on the WSF website, www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries/ click on Ferry Financing Legislation under Planning, and under Nov. 17, 2008, Preliminary Draft ESB2358. Pages 17 and 26 highlight the triangle route plan. [Editor’s note: direct link to the document is here]
The Fauntleroy Community Association will be challenging this plan, and anyone interested in finding out more or providing FCA support can contact the FCA at Fauntleroy.net or:
Chair, Fauntleroy Ferry Advisory Committee
This is also notable given that the Fauntleroy paving proposal we’ve been discussing – including a major stretch traveled by ferry commuters – is in jeopardy because of city budget changes (we should find out more about its status tomorrow morning, when the mayor officially announces next year’s paving plan at a media event). According to the WSF info page Gary points us to, public hearings on the system’s long-range plan are set for next month, before a proposal is finalized “going into the 2009 legislative session.”
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
“We’re here tonight to start a conversation.”
That was the opening line from city DPD urban designer Lyle Bicknell last night, kicking off a gathering of more than 20 people — local leaders, developers, architects, city reps — to initiate a big-picture look at the future of the area known as the Triangle, before the onrushing wave of development drowns the chance.Read More
For fellow numbers fans — Just got the final, FINAL Elliott Bay Water Taxi ridership numbers from County Councilmember Dow Constantine‘s office, one day after the King County Ferry District budget won approval (WSB coverage here), furthering the process of moving the WT toward year-round status starting in early 2010. The “unofficial” year-end numbers on the season’s last day put ridership at 182,000 – but the final number is actually 182,904 – almost 183,000 – with a daily average of almost 1,000 (973, to be specific). Next year’s season is due to start up again in April; before then, be sure your calendar is marked for the January 15th public meeting at Alki Community Center (7 pm) to find out about the Water Taxi’s future, including improvements at Seacrest to make that dock work till its permanent home is eventually found.
Mary from Twilight Art just posted this as a comment on our original report last month about her stolen motorcycle (shown in that report):
Good news. I got my motorrad back. It was recovered from 102 30th ave sw in a 30 ft ditch. They took the starter and stripped the ignition, but she will rise again! Thanks for the help and support :)
We asked Mary a followup question – how was the bike found? She says she got some leads along the way but in the end:
Ultimately the police got a tip from someone who wants to remain anonymous and the bike was recovered on the 17th. The rims are oxidized, which makes us think it was in the ditch for some time. The ignition has been hacked; the body was ripped to remove parts; and it was covered in mud.
But she’s gearing up, so to speak, to get it back into shape.
Just in from West Seattle Family YMCA (WSB sponsor) and subsequently just added to the ever-updated WSB Holiday Happenings page: “Gobble Stomp!” free exercise classes on Thanksgiving morning (just 9 days away!) at both the West Seattle and Fauntleroy YMCA facilities. Bring donations for West Seattle Food Bank and/or WestSide Baby (especially newborn-size diapers). Times and other details here (and of course on the HH page).
Just posted on the website for the group that obtained a $15,000 Neighborhood Matching Fund grant to explore options for California Place Park (map) in North Admiral (Google Street View above – pan around to the area behind the bus stop): The “request for qualifications” for a landscape architect who will help with that exploration. More city-facilitated meetings are planned as part of the process (WSB coverage of the first meeting, with 104 comments, is here); no dates announced yet.
We mentioned here yesterday that a big cut in city “skatepark implementation” money was among the latest City Council budget actions — and that we would seek more specifics on what that meant for the Delridge Skatepark project, which blossomed to life last summer (WSB coverage here), after months of controversy about the possibility of locating a skatepark by Myrtle Reservoir. Here’s what we have learned today, after Brian Hawksford from the office of City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen (who chairs the Parks Committee) helped us seek out clarification – and the news isn’t good for skatepark supporters: The official word is that Delridge Skatepark construction “has been postponed/deferred” because of the budget cut (which involves the city’s reduced receipts of “real estate excise tax,” aka REET). The final budget vote is next Monday; West Seattle-based skating advocate Matt Johnston has posted about this at SeattleSkateparks.org and is urging messages of support (his post has e-mail address links).
(video not available due to blip.tv shutdown)
What’s that old sports apology, “It’s a rebuilding season”? No apologies needed for the good work being done today in High Point by the people you see in that short WSB video clip — spouses of Seahawks players, coaches, and other staffers; they’re joining folks from AmeriCorps and Lowe’s at the site of two Habitat for Humanity homes that are being built for (and by!) two HP families. Habitat says it’s building 20 homes in all in the High Point area; it has a regional volunteer orientation coming up tomorrow morning, by the way, in Kent (more info here).
George Howland, who used to handle City Council communications, does that sort of thing for the Seattle Channel now. He promised the city-run cable channel would be doing a better job of getting the word out about its eclectic programming (which has even included us). So this just landed in the inbox – yes, an energetically written city news release that even calls the mayor “Hizzoner” – although seriously, what would YOU ask him?:
Budget cuts? Youth violence? Winter floods? Do you have questions for Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels? Want to have them answered on live TV? On Wednesday, November 19, 7 pm, be sure to watch to Ask the Mayor on SEATTLE CHANNEL, Cable 21, streaming live at www.seattlechannel.org, and call 206-684-8821 to talk to the Mayor and host C.R.Douglas or e-mail your question now by writing to email@example.com anytime the inspiration strikes you. If you are a journalist, an activist, or a city employee who has been trying to get access to the mayor to ask your question—now is your chance! Don’t let the opportunity to question Hizzoner pass you by! Last month, the Mayor said that the people living in the Nickelsville tent city weren’t homeless but were political activists. What will he say this month? Be sure to tune in and find out.
(September 2008 WSB photo)
Hard to believe two months have gone by since the hugely successful West Seattle Gateway Cleanup powered by the Fairmount Community Association and more than 200 volunteers. (Here’s our wrap-up report, with links to the in-progress coverage; the work was done along the Fauntleroy “gateway” area from Walking on Logs to 35th.) Some followup work is happening today, according to Nancy Driver: “City Foresters will be spending the day doing tree work at the gateway site. We raised enough money to pay for one day’s tree work. They will be doing pruning of the understory on the trees and removal of a very few diseased or dead trees. Work should get under way around 9:30 am.” The tree work was one of the “next steps” we mentioned after the cleanup. We’ll stop by later for pix; meantime, if you’re on the Fauntleroy end of The Bridge today and you see the crew, now you know what they’re up to.
So many times in recent weeks, we’ve seen the power of neighbors banding together to do what needs to be done – including fighting crime – and that task gets easier when you have the latest info on what’s happening in our area. Tonight, it’s your last chance of the year to get that info, and answers to your crime/safety questions, by attending one of the most worth-your-time monthly events in West Seattle, if you’re at all concerned about neighborhood safety: The West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting, 7 pm, Southwest Precinct meeting room (Google Street View above shows where you’re going). See you there.
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