West Seattle, Washington
At White Center Now, we’ve posted coverage of tonight’s White Center/South Delridge Community Safety Coalition meeting. One tidbit along the way: Remember the BB-gun burglary arrests? Southwest Precinct Community Police Team officer Adonis Topacio revealed tonight that the motive was … stealing to get money for restitution to PREVIOUS burglary victims. EARLY AM SIDE NOTE: On both sides of the South Delridge/White Center line, the same group of robbers reportedly hit two stores Thursday night – Gas Depot on Delridge, Lucky 7 on 4th SW – within three hours. Info in this WSB Forums thread; we’ll check with law enforcers later this morning about possible surveillance pix to share.
After the two “final” Viaduct scenarios went public late today (WSB as-it-happened coverage here), they were presented to the Stakeholders Advisory Committee that was created as a sort of “sounding board” in the Alaskan Way Viaduct scenario-review process. Two West Seattleites are on that committee: Pete Spalding and Vlad Oustimovitch, both longtime community activists (Pete lives in Pigeon Point; Vlad, in Gatewood). We have asked both for their thoughts on what was announced today. First response in, from Pete:
I am still concerned about the long-term viability of citizens of West Seattle to have the ability to get out of or into our community. Most folks do not realize that 20% of the population of the city of Seattle lives on this side of the Duwamish River.
Under the I-5, Surface & Transit Hybrid Scenario
If you leave West Seattle and drive through downtown going to north Seattle you will encounter 28 stop lights, a 90 degree turn to proceed through the Battery Street tunnel and a 30 mile per hour speed limit. On top of this there is no mention of how the ferry traffic (entering or exiting Colman dock) will be figured into the traffic flow.
Elevated Bypass Hybrid Scenario
I am not convinced that another elevated option will solve our transportation needs 50+ years into the future. This is our opportunity to make Seattle a world class city with a world class waterfront. Building another elevated structure running along the waterfront does not help to accomplish that in my opinion.
No matter what decision is made at the end of the day we have to have better transit service into and out of West Seattle. Not only for Delridge but for all of the peninsula. I pointed out that not everyone leaving West Seattle had downtown as their final destination. Our transit options must include destinations to the north, south and east without first having to connect to another bus somewhere in the downtown business district. Adding a new Rapid Ride line on Delridge is being proposed but has its own unique set of difficulties. Not the least of which is where do you come up with dedicated bus only lanes from Genesee to the bridge?
In conclusion I lean toward the hybrid solution that has been brought forward by the Seattle Chamber of Commerce (presented to the SAG on Monday) which was referred to tonight as the P3 hybrid option. I also encouraged the Executives to give a much stronger look at the deep bored tunnel option which was the final option taken off the table late today prior to the briefings beginning. This option needs more study as it would be the least disruptive to all of us here in West Seattle. I am not convinced that the cost estimates have been thoroughly vetted and are somewhat exaggerated in materials that we were presented.
Finally, just as reminder there is a public hearing on Monday, December 15th beginning at 5 pm at Town Hall. If you feel strongly about this issue please state your preference (opinion) at that time or go on line to the Viaduct website and do it there.
That site is at alaskanwayviaduct.org. Meantime, we’ll have more Viaduct views tomorrow, including Vlad’s thoughts.
Our favorite ex-co-worker meteorologist (Channel 13’s Walter Kelley) says it’s definitely going to be snowing for “everybody” around the metro area starting sometime tomorrow night, so now we really believe it. An official Winter Storm Watch is in effect, in fact, according to the National Weather Service’s forecast. How much? Hard to say, of course, as always. Sounds like you should be able to get home from work safely before any snow hits (as long as you don’t work, say, Everett northward, which is expected to see snow first).
If you hadn’t already followed the SPD Blotter link from the WSB Crime Watch page, here’s the crime-stats page it links to. We’re just starting to read this and will add any noteworthy trends (although from ongoing coverage, we’d wager it’s pretty easy to guess what’ll turn out to be the major category bedeviling our side of the bay, and likely others).
That’s artist Lisa Pettit, one of dozens of local artists showing their works during tonight’s West Seattle Art Walk – which you can enjoy at any or all of more than 40 venues, all over WS, till 9 o’clock tonight (full list here). Lisa’s showing drawings and etchings at Brunette Mix, which is on Oregon just west of California (see more of Lisa’s art at her website; her work is on display at the salon all month). On the other end of the heart of The Junction, you’ll find WSB contributing photojournalist Christopher Boffoli at Ama Ama (WSB sponsor), where his imagery is being displayed on the flatscreens over the bar. Wherever you go — meet an artist, enjoy art and refreshments, holiday-shop, and have fun under the full moon!
(meeting now concluded at 5:35 pm- to recap, the two “finalist” scenarios just made public are “surface/transit hybrid” and “elevated bypass hybrid” – 6:54 pm update, all the materials presented today/tonight are now posted online – here are graphics of the two options)
(above photo added 3:45 pm, just after Executive Sims, Gov. Gregoire, and Mayor Nickels sat down)
ORIGINAL 3:23 PM POST: We’re at City Hall, where state, county, and city leaders are about to be officially briefed on the final scenarios for the Alaskan Way Viaduct Central Waterfront replacement. We’ll post first word of what they are, as soon as we get it – we’ve all just been allowed into the briefing room, where the officials (elected and otherwise) are gathering. The mayor, governor, and county executive haven’t come in yet – city council Transportation Committee chair Jan Drago is here, though, as are the officials who’ve led this project for the three agencies, including SDOT director Grace Crunican, WSDOT’s Ron Paananen, and Metro’s Ron Posthuma. (There’s a name card for West Seattle’s King County Councilmember Dow Constantine, too, so we’re expecting to see him.) They say they’re not handing this out in print ahead of time – so we’ll type and post as announcements are made. For reference, here are the 8 scenarios that have been under consideration to date. A spokesperson is telling reporters that TWO scenarios will be unveiled here momentarily. 3:37 PM UPDATE: Still awaiting the briefing. Councilmember Constantine’s here now; he notes this is actually a regular monthly meeting that the leaders from the state, county and city have been having for quite some time – he and City Councilmember Drago participate as chairs of their respective councils’ Transportation Committees.
BULLETIN: The final scenarios are L, “surface/transit hybrid” – with two roads along the waterfront – and M, “elevated bypass hybrid” – with two elevated bridge structures side by side. More details to come.
3:45 PM UPDATE: The governor, county executive and mayor are here now. It appears there is no TUNNEL of any type involved in either of the scenarios.
3:52 PM UPDATE: They have finished background review and are now moving on to explain more about these scenarios. Reminder, these are new HYBRIDS with elements of the original 8 – they had said, and we had reported, all along, that they would not choose 2 of the 8, but take elements of some of them and make “hybrids” for final review.
3:57 PM UPDATE: A few more details on Scenario L – Alaskan Way would become one way southbound with three lanes and a bike lane; Western would (starting near Yesler) be one way northbound with three lanes and a bike lane, connecting to Battery Street Tunnel.
4:03 PM UPDATE: Turns out they’re STILL in background. More on the “elevated bypass” scenario – two independent bridge structures side by side, two lanes in each direction, connecting to B-Street Tunnel at north, new south end project at King Street. Also noted, a Delridge RapidRide bus route would be part of this. Also noticing – the INTRO copy on this page says “further analysis will be done on investigating a bored bypass tunnel.” (added) Just got more printouts. The explanation on the tunnel is, “The bored tunnel was not carried forward due to its high cost. However, it does have advantages associated with avoiding some of the construction on the central waterfront. The agencies will continue to investigate the costs of the bored tunnel as a future project that could be constructed if the I-5/surface/transit hybrid alternative is agreed upon.”
4:16 PM UPDATE: In response to Mayor Nickels’ question, WSDOT’s David Dye explains the two elevated structures would be somewhat separated and slightly different elevation – one could be built alongside the existing structure, so it would be ready to take on some of the traffic when the existing viaduct comes down, then the other structure would be built after the existing viaduct is demolished. As for whether they would be taller than the current one – WSDOT’s Ron Paananen says that could be determined in the design process. As we’ve mentioned on partner site White Center Now in the past few minutes, both scenarios also mention “expanded park and rides” in White Center and Burien (as well as Shoreline).
CONTINUE TO READ RUNNING COVERAGE POSTED DURING MEETING, BY CLICKING AHEAD:Read More
Two updates from the Southwest Precinct: Lt. Steve Paulsen says still no arrests in the 14th/Cambridge “violent mugging” reported here yesterday. We also inquired about a reader report of intense police activity around quarter till 4 this morning at 35th/Cambridge; Lt. Paulsen says it was the second time police have been to that address in two days, and describes the incident as “an occupied burglary to rip off a Marijuana Grow farm. A weapon was fired at the intruders, no injuries. Homeowner was arrested.”
(Budget Blinds‘ West Seattle team: Back row, left to right: Nathan Westrand, Parrish & Kendra Hammer, Brian Read. Front row, left to right: Danica Corwin, Paige Beck, and Angela Stocker)
The business community in West Seattle continues to diversify – and one of the latest examples is our newest sponsor, Budget Blinds of West Seattle, in the Triangle area. As always, we offer new WSB sponsors the chance to tell you something about their business – here’s what Budget Blinds wants you to know: “Budget Blinds of West Seattle is independently owned & operated by local residents Parrish & Kendra Hammer. As one of over 1,000 franchises in North America, Budget Blinds has been ranked #1 in the window-covering industry by Entrepreneur Magazine since 1998. The West Seattle franchise has consistently ranked as one of the top twenty Budget Blinds franchises in North America during 2008. Parrish & Kendra moved to West Seattle in the Fall of 2004 from Colorado, and they are the proud parents of two daughters, Sasha and Tahlia, who attend Alki Elementary School. Parrish & Kendra are strong supporters of the local community, teaming up with WestSide Baby for their annual Stuff the Bus diaper drive, and NW Hope & Healing, to name a few, and they are members of the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce and the BNI Chapter. With a beautiful showroom in West Seattle, Budget Blinds has a wide variety of products and fabrics to look at, and choose from, including some unique exclusive products. Whether it’s interior or exterior, standard lifting operations or motorized, they have solutions to fit your specific needs.” You can find Budget Blinds in West Seattle at 3518 SW Genesee (map), right next to Buddha Ruksa; Budget Blinds‘ phone number is 206-932-2655. We welcome Budget Blinds of West Seattle to the WSB sponsor team; the current lineup is here along with information on how to become part of it!
Just spotted this while heading through the Fauntleroy/Alaska/39th intersection, and pulled over to grab a pic. The sign appeared after a day in which we checked yet another “is the project dead?” rumor — several WSB’ers sent us the link to an online report in which a writer (without a quote to substantiate) claimed “new stores were on hold” — we subsequently contacted the regional Whole Foods spokesperson, who promptly responded that report was wrong and had even omitted information she said she had given the writer to clarify a company memo he’d received, and YES, the West Seattle store is still on schedule. (As we reported here a week ago, after checking yet another round of rumors with both Whole Foods and with developer BlueStar.) So now — a sign. As we noted in last week’s story, BlueStar explains that the reason you’re not seeing active construction work at the site right now is that they’re between “phases” and will resume early in the year (that’s when they say the big crane will show up, too). The project continues to evolve behind the scenes as well; BlueStar’s project manager, Easton Craft, tells WSB today, “Based on the uniqueness of the current economic climate we are able to create some value engineering opportunities that will reduce the overall project budget. We plan to take full advantage of those opportunities. Conducting the value engineering exercise will have no discernible impact on the design of the project. We have now gone through the MUP [Master Use Permit] process twice and are excited about the current design. We are also very happy with our General Contractor, Ledcor Construction. They have been and continue to be a valued asset to this project and an excellent team player in this process.” (All WSB coverage of this project is archived here.)
Lots of quick time-sensitive mentions before some major stories start breaking (for example, the narrowed-down list of Viaduct options will go public around 3:30, if it’s not leaked sooner, and WSB will be there for that). The following is in no particular order – lots of great stuff going on:
HOLIDAY FOOD DRIVE: Another local business has one going – Dave Newman State Farm Insurance Agency (WSB sponsor), 3435 California SW, drop off a nonperishable food donation any time they’re open, 9 am-5 pm Mondays-Fridays.
LIVE MUSIC TONIGHT: Larry Knapp sent a note to say he’s on piano at The Bohemian tonight, 6-9 pm. (Also live music tonight, as there is almost every night, at Skylark Cafe and Club [WSB sponsor], starting at 9 – Donerail, Otherwise, Lyons Mane, Skylark’s calendar page has times and links to musicians’ websites.)
PATHFINDER SCHOOL CRAFT AND GIFT SALE UPDATE: We mentioned this several hours ago. Now we have the exact time frame for today’s sale: 1-3 pm and 6:30-8:30 pm. (Here’s a map to the school.)
ANOTHER HOLIDAY DRIVE FOR PETS: We mentioned Furry Faces/Purrfect Pals/Pet Elements yesterday. Now there’s word that Stella Ruffington, which like PE is in Morgan Junction, is a dropoff spot for the Seattle Dog Daycares Association pet food/toy drive for Lifelong Aids Alliance, through the end of the year.
SCHMITZ PARK ELEMENTARY HOLIDAY DRIVE: Schmitz Park PTA co-president Julie Foster wrote with word that Schmitz Park is sponsoring a Joy of Giving holiday drive to benefit Treehouse, which she describes as “an amazing local organization helping our community’s foster kids.” Joy of Giving wish lists are available at the school and online at www.treehouseforkids.org – Julie suggests printing them out, passing them around, and then get the gifts (new, unwrapped toys, clothes or cash donations) to the school by 12/19. Contact her with questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
“PLAID TIDINGS” SHOW ADDED: If you haven’t already seen them at ArtsWest, maybe you saw their sampler at the West Seattle Junction Tree Lighting last Saturday – the guys from Plaid Tidings are rockin’ The Junction and tickets have gone so far, ArtsWest just added two more shows: 7:30 pm the next two Sundays, December 14 and 21. Tickets are available online.
LAST BUT BY NO MEANS LEAST — WSB FORUM MEMBERS INVITE YOU TO A POTLUCK BENEFIT PARTY THIS SUNDAY!!! If you haven’t already been following this on the WSB Forums (which are celebrating their first anniversary this month), Forum members are organizing a holiday get-together this Sunday and want to invite ALL WSB’ers to be part of it. It’s a potluck and also a benefit. 3 pm Sunday 12/14 at Big Al’s Brewing in White Center – upstairs, so all ages are welcome. Read on for the full list of what to bring along, including how to join in helping folks for the holidays:Read More
The National Weather Service’s latest “forecast discussion” has the closest analysis of what’s on the way, and while the Friday night snow likelihood is not PROJECTED to “accumulate” in the city, for Saturday they say “an inch or two” can’t be “rule(d) out.” Read the forecast discussion here (it’s usually updated three or four times daily – gets a bit technical but has better context); elsewhere, meteorologist Cliff Mass calls it a “difficult” forecast but says never mind about those short-lived wind worries. Even more than snow, the coming low temperatures have local government agencies worried (down to 20ish here Sunday morning!) – so they’re redistributing “protect yourself” type information like this.
Besides the holiday edition of the West Seattle Art Walk, as mentioned in the previous post, here are some highlights for the next 16 hours or so:
ALASKAN WAY VIADUCT: The Stakeholders Advisory Committee meets again at 4:30 pm. During last week’s media briefing, reporters were told the list of 8 “scenarios” for replacing the Alaskan Way Viaduct‘s Central Waterfront section would be narrowed to 2 or 3 hybrids today. That should happen when, or before, the SAC gets together for the second time this week, at City Hall.
COOPER CLOSURE? A 6:30 pm meeting is planned at Cooper Elementary, now facing the possibility its “program” will be eliminated so the building can become the new home for Pathfinder K-8 (two weeks after Arbor Heights Elementary was proposed for that role).
SOUTH DELRIDGE/WHITE CENTER COMMUNITY SAFETY COALITION: Crimefighting and safety advocacy for southeastern West Seattle and neighboring White Center, 6 pm, Boys and Girls Club @ 9800 8th SW
PARKS BOARD: Several items of West Seattle interest on the agenda tonight, including an update on the reservoir-lidding program (with a future park at Westcrest; read the briefing paper here) and a change in parks-naming policy (read the proposed policy here), 7 pm, Parks Department HQ at Denny Park downtown.
SMALL AND SIMPLE AWARDS: 6 pm, Alki Elementary, the mayor and others will honor local organizations that are receiving the Department of Neighborhoods‘ latest round of Small and Simple Awards (including basketball-court improvements at Arbor Heights).
WEST SEATTLE TRAILS WORKSHOP: As part of a larger DON grant, signs and kiosks are going up around West Seattle to help walkers and bikers find their way – and you are invited to help shape the art and information they’ll contain. Camp Long Lodge, 6:30 pm – children 6-12 welcome to come along and to enjoy a nature class about owls during the meeting.
More in the WSB Events calendar (reminder, if you have an event coming up and it’s not there or – if more appropriate – on our Holidays page, PLEASE let us know so we can add it! email@example.com)
Salty’s on Alki is done up to the Christmas nines inside as well as out, as you can tell from that photo taken during Wednesday night’s West Seattle Chamber of Commerce holiday party (with WSCoC executive director Patti Mullen at center). That was the biggest party in West Seattle north; as for West Seattle south, 34th District Democrats gathered to celebrate both the holidays and recent victories — not just the presidential and governor elections:
Left to right, the three local state legislators who won their races – all unopposed – last month, 34th District Rep. Sharon Nelson, Sen. Joe McDermott, Rep. Eileen Cody. (By the way, Sen. McDermott is the new assistant floor leader; Rep. Cody leads the Health Care and Wellness committee). One more elected official on hand — long after we left the party, Pathfinder K-8 parent Leslie Harris sent this photo of Hizzoner buying a handmade wreath from PF parent Brent Morgan:
The Pathfinder community also is selling handmade gifts at a Craft Fair on campus tonight, and continuing to sell wreaths in The Junction on Hometown Holiday Sundays, as we showed you last weekend. Meanwhile: In The Junction and beyond, tonight’s biggest holiday event is one you can enjoy at more than 40 locations all over West Seattle: The holiday edition of the West Seattle Second Thursday Art Walk, 6-9 pm, venues and artists listed here – and you can see the map fullsize here. WSB sponsors that are participating (in order of their numbers on the map): Hotwire Coffee, Wellness at The Junction (you’ll see that as 8 Limbs Yoga on the map), Dream Dinners, Click! Design That Fits, West Seattle Nursery, M3 Bodyworks, Seattle Wellness Programs, Skylark, and Ama Ama Oyster Bar and Grill (where WSB contributing photographer Christopher Boffoli‘s fabulous images will be displayed on the flatscreens over the bar during the 6-9 Art Walk hours).