West Seattle, Washington
(Photo by Matt Durham of MattDurhamPhotography.com)
We’ve mentioned it a few times before – now it’s just days away: Washington State Ferries is almost done collecting public comment on its Draft Long-Range Plan, which includes some potentially major operational changes, but there’s one last public hearing – right here in West Seattle, 6 pm this Wednesday night at The Hall at Fauntleroy. The community group responsible for the ferry system’s local dock, the Fauntleroy Community Association, says that plan could have far-reaching traffic effects on all of West Seattle, not just Fauntleroy – here’s one of the documents it’s circulating ahead of the hearing:
The Washington State Ferries’ hearing at Fauntleroy on January 21 is a very important meeting for West Seattle. It discloses their Long Range Plan (LRP) that affects our peninsula for 30 years and beyond. Some of the details of the plan will be presented at the meeting followed by an opportunity by any and all who wish to speak. The audience turnout is also crucial as it shows this is an urgent matter, dealing with our quality of life and effects on traffic and property values. Spread the word!
As this is a testimonial hearing, questions and answers with dialogue will not take place. Testimony, however, will be recorded and become a permanent part of the LRP presented to the Legislature for approval January 31. Reviewing the plan at www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries reveals that some major points of conflict for discussion and rebuttal are apparent.
1. After years of seeing the LRP proposing to shift the Southworth route directly to Colman Dock, at the last minute the plan reversed that proposal and the Southworth traffic remains in West Seattle indefinitely.
This is unacceptable.
2. The plan cements in place the existing traffic and all future growth from Southworth at the Fauntleroy facility that is already operating at capacity.
This is unacceptable.
3. The projected combined population growth for West Seattle and Vashon Island will substantially increase traffic congestion both approaching and on the West Seattle Bridge in years to come. Continuing to route Southworth/Kitsap County vehicles here indefinitely means their population explosion will impact our transportation needs and livability of our neighborhoods.
This is unacceptable.
4. The plan to widen the Fauntleroy dock and erect an overhead walk-on loading ramp is detrimental to the environment of Fauntleroy Cove, shields and distorts personal property views and adversely affects local property values.
This is unacceptable.
5. On April 28, 1997, Seattle City Council Resolution 29566 stated that WSF initiate no expansion of the Fauntleroy Ferry Dock and to take all steps to reduce existing traffic.
To ignore that resolution is unacceptable.
6. A complex component of the plan is a Reservation Ticketing System that can add more traffic snarls, safety hazards and confusion around the dock and neighboring residential streets. (WSB note: Read more about that system here)
These and other details of the LRP are detrimental to businesses, residents and taxpayers of West Seattle. We are paying for their growth. Please express your opinion at this urgent meeting so your voice is heard before decisions are made. Notify our state and local elected officials of your concerns.
Also, attendance is crucial at this meeting. Share this flyer with friends, neighbors, co-workers and anyone you know living or doing business on the West Seattle peninsula and encourage their attendance. The deadline for comments is at this meeting of the Ferry Advisory Committee: Wednesday, January 21, 2009 at The Hall at Fauntleroy, 9131 California Ave SW, at 6 PM.
Gary Dawson, Chair
Fauntleroy Ferry Advisory Committee
Bruce Butterfield, President
Fauntleroy Community Association
(photo added 11:11 pm – car top is ALREADY iced over!)
Patchy fog’s a possibility again tonight. Combine that with lows in the 30s, and by 5 am this morning, car tops and windshields were iced over – as were some bridge on-ramps, according to a Twitter report we received – so if you don’t get MLK Day off, save a few minutes tomorrow for possible scraping. And a reminder that your fireplace/wood stove is off-limits TFN unless it’s your main source of heat, since a “Stage 1 Burn Ban” is in effect. The “stagnant air” might not clear out any time soon – the “forecast discussion” says it might be dry all week.
Five days after the announcement that Governor Gregoire, County Executive Sims, and Mayor Nickels want to see the Alaskan Way Viaduct’s “mile in the middle” Central Waterfront section replaced with a $4 billion package of improvements centered on a deep-bored tunnel, the chatter about it continues, and we have two things to share tonight: First, 34th District State Sen. Joe McDermott sent a note after Week 1 of the new legislative session wrapped up, pointing out that he’s now writing updates in blog format on his official website. (It’s not entirely blog format, since you can’t leave comments, but maybe that’ll change.) His latest post, which you can read here, describes the tunnel announcement as “Viaduct Success.” (He’s also posted a podcast — 3 1/2 minutes of audio — but it’s not about The Viaduct; it’s about the state-budget shortfall.) We’ll keep an eye on the next move re: The Tunnel – the Legislature’s website doesn’t currently have anything specifically on the agenda. Now, the other tunnel note: West Seattle poet Carol Smith has penned a lament to drivers’ prospective loss of views – read on:Read More
(Zack with Otto the dachshund – explained below)
After we shared the news Friday that donations had fully funded the care needed by Zack the stray cat – who turned up on Jane‘s doorstep and then turned out to be in dire need of costly care – some folks clamored for one more followup, with more details and photos. So Jane has obliged:
It has been two weeks since Zack had his surgery and he got his stitches out (Friday). It was really rough the first twelve days and we did not get much sleep. Zack had his worse moments from 11:00p.m. till around 5:00a.m. Zack is still on pain meds but he is doing great.
It is amazing how fast Zack became part of the family. Zack loves his roommate Maxine (who came to me 8 yrs ago a feral cat) and I was surprised to see how much Zack loves his cousins Otto (a Dachshund) and Sophia (a Chihuahua). Zack is bigger and the Alpha male. Zack loves it when Sophia and Otto run around him trying to play, then he puts his big paws out and they have a good time. Photos attached. Zack even alerted me before the dogs did that someone was at the door. It was so cute, he growled.
Again, thanks to everyone who has followed Zack’s story and supported Zack via the WSB and donated for his surgery. Oh, to those who asked, I was not looking for another dependent, Zack just happened my way and he needed love and care which I could not refuse. I did try to find Zack’s owners but if he did have one, they did not take care of him. Zack is a big love and he just loves cuddling up and hanging out with his new family.
Another photo of Zack – he’s on the carpet, Maxine‘s on the chair:
Just got a phone tip – SDOT re-striping crews are working in the westbound lanes toward the Fauntleroy end of The Bridge right now, heading toward 35th – which the city also has said is a “priority” – so be on the lookout there too, in case they are continuing on.
As pointed out in comments on our report about several West Seattle incidents police investigated early today, SPDBlotter now has an item on the “shots fired at house” case in the 1800 block of SW Dawson (map). No injuries, no arrest(s) reported so far. (An automated feed of the newest WS items from SPDBlotter is part of the WSB Crime Watch page, so whatever they post will go there first.)
Two more updates this morning (in addition to our first two installments from West Seattleites in DC – read them here and here): First, we’ve added an Inauguration page, with a variety of info including local events planned during and after the actual swearing-in (chances to celebrate on into the night). Second, we wanted to remind you about the WSB Forums-organized shoe drive in honor of the new administration’s call for service — now through Tuesday, there’s still time to take new or gently used shoes to drop boxes at Hotwire Coffee (WSB sponsor) and Full Tilt Ice Cream. They will all be donated to Soles4Soles (read about that organization here). And here’s the official flyer.
Lots of West Seattle activity on the police scanner these past couple hours – one report from someone in Highland Park who thought someone fired shots at his house, another call about possible shots heard closer to the Westwood area, beer getting shoplifted from the 16th/Holden 7-11 … Then, NOT from the scanner, Lisa e-mailed a firsthand report of a “sparkler bomb” in Admiral:
I live in Admiral by the PCC and had a “sparkler bomb” explode in the parking strip in front of my house about an hour ago. My house is swarming with about 5-6 police right now collecting all the fragments. It was crazy scary. There is a hole in my parking strip and fragments up to my front porch and 2 houses beyond. The police think it’s random, and have a suspect.
Lisa’s not sure if that suspect is in custody yet, though. (We will of course follow up with police.) Meantime, one other e-mail mentions hearing “explosions” in the Admiral area around 2 am, most likely the same incident. Five months ago, something similar happened in Highland Park; here’s our report about that one (be sure to read the comments, which brought out a lot of information about what a “sparkler bomb” is).