day : 15/01/2009 13 results

West Seattle finale for mayor’s storm-talk open-house tour

January 15, 2009 10:21 pm
|    Comments Off on West Seattle finale for mayor’s storm-talk open-house tour
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle video | Westwood

That’s Mayor Nickels arriving at Southwest Community Center tonight for the third and final “open house” he scheduled this week to invite in-person comments on the city’s much-criticized response to last month’s snow. As with the other two (coverage linked from our preview this morning), in Green Lake and the Central District, no huge crowds, no fireworks. No presentation, either, so we roamed a bit and caught this exchange about the hottest topic of the storm’s second half — salt — and related environmental concerns:

City Light Superintendent Jorge Carrasco was one of the other top city officials on hand (along with deputy mayor Tim Ceis and SDOT director Grace Crunican) – what you see on the table by him are some of the preparedness freebies that were handed out at the event:

And it wouldn’t be a public meeting without someplace to write ideas on big pieces of paper – here, Seattle Public Utilities collected concerns about the trash/recycling/yard waste delays endured by thousands for weeks:

For some, it was a family affair – not only parent and child, but also, that’s the mayor’s wife Sharon Nickels at his right:

Perhaps the most interesting note: Metro is taking comments related to its operations during Snowstorm ’08. A hard-copy survey was circulated at the open house. A Metro rep promised to get us an electronic version; we can’t find it online. We’ll share it as soon as we get a copy or a link, should be tomorrow. (Earlier today, we had the opportunity to meet with two King County managers to share some feedback from what happened here as you all shared information with us and each other, and as we worked to procure more official information, during Snowstorm ’08; we will keep you updated as we hear about changes to come.)

Sunshine, anyone? Schmitz Park Elementary’s auctioning it

January 15, 2009 7:48 pm
|    Comments Off on Sunshine, anyone? Schmitz Park Elementary’s auctioning it
 |   How to help | West Seattle news | West Seattle schools

That tantalizing photo shows a Palm Springs condo that’s part of what’s up for auction at Schmitz Park Elementary‘s annual fundraiser. It’s coming up Saturday, January 24th, but RSVP deadline is this coming Monday, and Schmitz Park parent Gretchen Frampton sent an invite to share with you:

Schmitz Park Elementary invites you to their Catch the Dream Auction! Enjoy a fabulous evening and support your local school at the same time! Saturday, January 24th, Schmitz Park Elementary is hosting their annual Catch the Dream Auction. Items include a week-long stay at a beautiful, newly remodeled condo in sunny Palm Springs California, an electrical home service upgrade (value $3,800!), spring yard clean up, salon certificates, and much more.

RSVP now! Contact Lee Baker at by Monday, January 19th

Select from the following dinner options (tickets $70 per person):
Grilled Filet of Beef
Pine Nut Crusted Northern Salmon
Roasted Cornish Game Hen, Portobello
Crunchy Eggplant, Beefsteak Tomato Stack

Auction details:
Saturday, January 24th
Sheraton Seattle Hotel
5:00pm – check-in and registration
5:30pm – Silent Auction opens
7:15pm – dinner
8:00pm – Live Auction

Money raised funds critical reading, math, music and physical education programs.

Got a school fundraiser coming up? We’d be happy to share info about yours too! Send info to – thanks!

Quick update on tonight’s 2 big West Seattle meetings

At the mayor’s open house: About 50 people there (Southwest Community Center in Westwood) as of 7 o’clock. No formal presentation, the mayor really is just working the crowd, with a variety of other high-level city staffers there (including SDOT director Grace Crunican and deputy mayor Tim Ceis, both of whom are also West Seattleites). At the Water Taxi dock open house: Also about 50 people (Alki Community Center) as of this writing, including County Council Chair Dow Constantine. Easels are set up displaying the changes planned for the Seacrest dock, which will stretch it out beyond the existing “L” shape, to a “T” that would be perpendicular to the end of the current fishing pier; there’s also information about an upcoming study of parking in the area. A formal presentation is about to be made. 8:44 PM NOTE: We’ll be publishing separate stories on both events – which are now over.

Got a few hours to spare tonight? WestSide Baby needs you!

January 15, 2009 5:09 pm
|    Comments Off on Got a few hours to spare tonight? WestSide Baby needs you!
 |   How to help

In addition to the snowstorm and Water Taxi meetings – WestSide Baby is hoping to see volunteers show up to help sort through holiday-season donations – we published details on partner site White Center Now yesterday but wanted to put up a last-minute shoutout here: 7-9 tonight, here’s the scoop.

Design workshops set for California Place Park

View Larger Map

Just in from Friends and Neighbors of North Admiral, whose proposal to add a “playscape” to tiny California Place Park (Google Street View above) has drawn some neighborhood controversy (our past coverage is archived here) – the dates are now set for design workshops:

Mark your calendars! We invite you to attend a series of design workshops
that will allow the community to explore various ideas and design options
for California Place. These three workshops will be led by Karen Kiest,
Landscape Architects. We are looking for ways to increase community use of
the park by people of all ages, and create a naturalized and safe area for
the neighborhood to enjoy now and for generations to come. As an option, a
supervised area for childcare will be available during each meeting.

Tuesday, 2/3, 7 – 8:30 PM
Saturday, 3/7, 10:30 – 12 Noon
Thursday, 4/16, 7 – 8:30 PM

All the meetings will be held at:
Alki Community Center
5817 SW Stevens Street

FANNA obtained a city matching-funds grant to pay for the design process, but any changes to the park would require a different round of funding – could be all private, all public, or a combination.

Design Comm. meeting: Updates on Conner’s Junction megaproject

The second Seattle Design Commission review of the Conner Homes California/Alaska/42nd megaproject has just concluded. Two updates, with more details to be added after we switch locations: #1, Jim Miller from Conner confirms that the two-building project is going in the “apartment direction” instead of condos, though they will be “built to condo spec.” (We spoke with him after the commission vote, seeking clarification after we heard architect Peter Greaves repeatedly mention “apartments” and “leasing office” in the presentation.) #2, Design Commissioners voted to have the project return to them one more time. Their vote basically is needed to approve the “public benefit” a developer is offering in exchange for an alley vacation — in this one, Conner wants the space under the alley as part of a big underground parking garage — and a narrow majority (five of the nine commissioners) voted that the proposal still doesn’t offer enough public benefit. We’ll add details shortly, plus images from a CD we’ve just received of the presentation that was made. ADDED 1:59 PM: The image added above (thanks to the architects, Weber Thompson) shows the Alaska/California corner, looking southwest through a new rendering of a corner setback, with a “column.” Here’s the same spot, looking south – this would be roughly where the Super Supplements entrance is now:

And this is a rendering of the alley between the two Conner buildings, looking north (toward where the salon and jewelry/watch shop are now, across the street):

ADDED 9:57 PM: More images, and details from today’s Design Commission review:Read More

One more meeting reminder for tonight: Water Taxi

Before too much more time slips by, we wanted to remind you once more that in addition to the mayor’s snowstorm open house, 6:30 pm at Southwest Community Center, the other major event in West Seattle tonight is the Alki Community Center meeting about Seacrest dock changes to facilitate year-round Elliott Bay Water Taxi operation. That meeting starts at 7 pm.

Update: Beware of bridge-striping backups; more light work too

We’re downtown for the Design Commission review of the Conner Homes Junction project alley vacation (second review), and while headed this way a short time ago, we spent about 15 extra minutes on the high bridge, eastbound, in a major all-lanes traffic backup while the lane stripers worked way up ahead – chalking where they will later paint (as mentioned earlier). Did afford a nice view of the City Light crews working on more bulb replacement on the westbound side, though – but in general, if you’re using The Bridge at any time today, plan for extra time.

Delridge Skatepark update: Design rolls on

(Micah Shapiro from Grindline at center, with skatepark meeting attendees)
Even though money to build the Delridge Skatepark didn’t make it into this year’s budget, there’s money ($76,000) to design it – so that’s why dozens of people gathered last night at Youngstown Arts Center, including some of the skaters who will use it. With reps from the city Parks Department and from the renowned West Seattle-based skatepark-design/construction firm Grindline and landscape designers Abbotsford, they discussed possible features. The city estimates the skatepark will cost about $446,000 to build, and there’s hope that money might make it into the 2010 budget, if not from some other source (we asked about the parks levy passed by voters, since some of that wasn’t specifically spoken for upfront; decisions about that $ are still being worked on). Once that money’s in hand, and a design’s complete, construction would only take about 90 days. Also from last night’s meeting: Lots of support for integrating art into the project. One commenter’s words summed it up: “Make it West Seattle.” More design discussions ahead; we’ll keep you posted.

Traffic alert: West Seattle Bridge striping happening today

SDOT told us Monday they hoped to do this before the week was out, and indeed, here’s the alert:

SDOT crews are replacing missing lane striping on the West Seattle Bridge today while the favorable weather lasts. Dry pavement is required for this work. The crews will work between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. The crews are replacing only lane lines that were severely distressed following the recent spell of snow, and are giving priority to streets and bridges with the highest volume of traffic.

Drivers are asked to leave plenty of space between them and the work vehicles, and to obey the signs: don’t drive over wet paint.

And the striping on 35th SW will be handled soon too, according to SDOT’s Marybeth Turner, who says that was atop the city’s list along with Aurora (restriped yesterday) and the WS Bridge.

Mayor’s snowstorm open house tonight (and recaps of first 2)

(WSB photo from December 14)
When we published first word of the mayor’s plan for three “open houses” to personally field citizen concerns about the trials and tribulations of Snowstorm ’08, JenV commented, “I foresee a packed house in WS.” If that happens tonight (6:30-8 pm at Southwest Community Center; here’s a map), it’ll be the only one of the three. According to this Seattle Weekly item about the Tuesday event in Green Lake, and this Central District News report on last night’s event in the CD, very few people have shown up to tell the mayor — and a massive retinue of city workers — what they think, and/or to hear what he says. Are YOU going?

34th District Democrats: New leadership; election endorsement

Thanks to the 34th District Democrats for sharing that shot of their new Executive Board: left to right, 2nd vice chair David Ginsberg, state committeeman Chris Porter, state committeewoman Marcee Stone, district chair Tim Nuse, alternate county committeeman Robin Hess, county committeewoman Lisa Plymate, first vice chair Kim Becklund, treasurer Stu Yarfitz, county committeeman Ivan Weiss, secretary Miki Meahan (and, not pictured, alternate county committeewoman Asha Mohamed). They’ve moved into those roles after the 34th DDs’ reorganization meeting last night at The Hall at Fauntleroy, a lively gathering as is the tradition for our area’s largest political group; here’s a video crowd shot:

(video no longer available due to shutdown)

Now, one more group with leadership responsibilities — the committee chairs:

Left to right, it’s Jackie Dupras (newsletter), Greg Doss (legislative action), Beth Grieser, Brian Earl (bylaws), Les Treall (outreach), Jeff Upthegrove (membership), and Walter Sive (finance).

Another headline from the meeting: Read More