day : 18/02/2009 10 results

West Seattle YMCA fundraising drive: Halfway home

February 18, 2009 10:52 pm
|    Comments Off on West Seattle YMCA fundraising drive: Halfway home
 |   How to help | West Seattle news

(Photo provided by West Seattle YMCA: Campaign volunteer Benita Buchanan records the
total raised to date at last night’s report meeting)

Right now, the West Seattle Family YMCA (WSB sponsor) is in the middle of its annual push to draw donations to make sure their programs are accessible to all – They did a check-in last night, and Samantha Bowes sends this report:

Last night, West Seattle & Fauntleroy YMCA Partners With Youth campaign volunteers gathered at the Fauntleroy YMCA to report on their progress toward their fundraising goal. They’ve raised over $96,000 on a goal of $205,000 in donations to keep YMCA programs accessible to kids, teens, and families in West Seattle, South Park, and Vashon

This is half of the overall campaign goal of $410,000 – our Board of Managers is raising the other half, and is at more than $115,000 to date, for a total of $211,000 raised on that $410,000 goal.

175+ volunteers make this effort a success every year – our thanks to them and to the hundreds of local residents who contribute to the campaign.

To learn more about the campaign, volunteer to help, or make a donation, contact Samantha Bowes at or 206-935-6000.

Next steps set for Elliott Bay Water Taxi dock-upgrade approval

February 18, 2009 8:49 pm
|    Comments Off on Next steps set for Elliott Bay Water Taxi dock-upgrade approval
 |   Elliott Bay Water Taxi | West Seattle news | West Seattle parks

The next steps are set for the Parks Department to sign off on upgrading the Elliott Bay Water Taxi‘s dock at Seacrest (as discussed at the Alki Community Center meeting a month ago) , to prepare for year-round operation to start early next year: First, the city Parks Board (chaired by Alki’s Jackie Ramels) will be briefed at its next meeting, Feb. 26. Then the board plans a public hearing on March 12th – and it will meet in West Seattle for the occasion; that meeting’s set for the WS Golf Course. Two weeks after that, March 26th, the Parks Board will make its recommendation, and the final say goes to Parks Superintendent Tim Gallagher. If you don’t expect to be able to make it to the March 12th meeting, by the way, the department offers other ways to have a say:

E-mail: send to Sandy Brooks at E-mails are forwarded as soon as possible after receipt. Deadline is 5:00 pm, Tuesday, March 24.

Fax: send “Attention: Sandy Brooks” at 206-233-7023

U.S. mail/hand-delivered: send to Sandy Brooks at 100 Dexter Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109-5199, or drop off at the front desk at 100 Dexter Ave N. Deadline is Thursday, March 19, to allow time for copying and mailing.

As first reported here last week, the Water Taxi’s start date this year is planned for April 5.

Money woes in the spotlight at Steve Sundquist’s “coffee hour”

By Charla Mustard-Foote
Reporting for West Seattle Blog

Seven people with a vital interest in West Seattle public schools got together with West Seattle’s Seattle School Board rep Steve Sundquist at Coffee to a Tea in The Junction this morning, to discuss issues ranging from proposed new staggered school start times (to accommodate a dual busing schedule) to a redefinition of the statewide definition of Basic Education.

It was Sundquist’s first “coffee hour” since the board’s controversial vote on school closures/changes, but that wasn’t the top issue on the mind of attendees — who had ties to Center School, Pathfinder, Garfield, and Washington Middle School — all were passionately concerned about the effects of state and local budget deficits on the content and quality of Seattle educational programs.

Read More

2 development notes: TOD bill update, Conner meeting site

February 18, 2009 3:19 pm
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 |   Development | West Seattle news | West Seattle politics

UPDATE ON “TRANSIT-ORIENTED DEVELOPMENT” BILL: We have been keeping an eye on this one as it’s come up in some of the neighborhood-council meetings we cover, though so far its potential effect on West Seattle is unclear: If you’re tracking the “transit-oriented development” bill sponsored by 34th District State Rep. Sharon Nelson, the Daily Weekly reports it failed a committee vote today, though that’s not the final say. It’s also up for discussion tonight at a workshop sponsored by City Councilmember Sally Clark at Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center.

LOCATION SET FOR CONNER PROJECT DESIGN-REVIEW MEETING: We mentioned yesterday that March 12 was tentatively set for the next – and possibly final – Southwest Design Review Board meeting on the Conner Homes Junction project (two mixed-use buildings at California/Alaska/42nd). The word “tentative” is now off the listing, and a location’s been set – that meeting will be 6:30 pm 3/12 at High Point Library. This project’s been of high interest, so we wanted to let you know the update rather than just sneaking it into the WSB West Seattle Events calendar.

Congratulations! Big trip ahead for two Chief Sealth students

An announcement from the Seattle Public Schools communications team says two Chief Sealth High School students, Michelle Tran and Mohamed Mohamed, are heading for New York City to attend the National Academy Foundation‘s annual gala, along with four other students from the district. Read on to see what it’s all about:Read More

West Seattle’s CoolMoms share their “Letters to Michelle”

We told you recently about West Seattle’s group assembling and sending letters to First Lady Michelle Obama, expressing their concerns about, and hopes for, the future of our planet. This morning, members of the group got together to show us the finished product, 50 letters which they are binding into a book and are getting ready to send. (Left to right – on slide Sydney, then mom Terri Glaberson, center Deborah Kapoor w/ son Asim in front of her – director and co-founder Kirsten McCaa – Laura Elfline with Sydney and Vivian, then Abby Suplizio with Gabe & Soleil.) Here’s Gabe, explaining what he wrote:

The book will be on its way to the White House shortly.

Gathering of Neighbors: Have you signed up yet?

Less than 4 weeks left to sign up your business or organization to be part of the next Gathering of Neighbors — a West Seattle tradition, returning after more than a year and a half on hiatus. Here’s what you need to know if you haven’t already signed up:

Call for Participants:

Gathering of Neighbors is joining neighbors and businesses in 2009.
Saturday, April 4, 11:00 – 3:00 pm, Chief Sealth High School, 5959 Delridge Way SW

If you are a group which serves the West Seattle Community through community building, resource sharing or business services, you are invited to participate in the 2009 Gathering of Neighbors. The Delridge Neighborhood Development Association and the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce are co-sponsoring this high-visibility event where businesses and community organizations from across the West Seattle Peninsula come together, one day, one place, as “one community”.

Deadline for registration is Friday, March 13. Forms can be downloaded from

Questions about the event? Contact Suzanne Nevan (206) 923-0917 x122,

Questions for the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce? Contact them at 206-932-5685,

Gathering Of Neighbors:
Date: Saturday, April 4th, 2009
Time: 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Location Chief Sealth High School (at Boren),
5959 Delridge Way SW

The Gathering of Neighbors is one of two major annual events created by the now-defunct West Seattle group Megawatt. Now, a gratuitous plug: The other one is West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day, which we at WSB took over after Megawatt disbanded, and we want to remind you that the 5th annual WSCGSD — the second one organized by WSB — is coming up just a month after Gathering of Neighbors: Saturday, May 9 … look for more details in the weeks ahead about how to sign up for that!

A place to play: Come take a new look at Cottage Grove

It’s an often-used quote attributed to the late music legend John Lennon: Life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans. This manifests in ways large and small – just ask North Delridge resident Betsy Hoffmeister, who’s spent the past year spearheading an effort to create a place at Cottage Grove Park (above) for the littlest kids in her neighborhood to play (here’s our first report from 2/22/08). We reported two weeks ago that the plan was evolving, and now Betsy is inviting you to help:

Are you interested in building a play space appropriate for the youngest children in Delridge at 26th Ave SW and SW Brandon St? If so, please attend a site review meeting with the Department of Parks and the Department of Neighborhoods on Thursday, February 19 at 11 a.m. If the weather is really bad, we will meet at the Neighborhood Service Center next door to the library on Delridge Way. Some background:

It’s been exactly a year since a group of parents in the Delridge neighborhood of Cottage Grove brought up the idea of building a tot lot at the site of the Cottage Grove Park on 26th Ave SW and Brandon. The City recently put in a new playground there, and we neighbors find it really difficult to use. The equipment is intended for older children, but the kids in our neighborhood don’t seem to play on it. There is absolutely nothing for toddlers to do, so families with mixed groups of kids tend to go to the other playgrounds in other communities. We held a series of discussions and public meetings to come up with an idea and decided on building an additional playground on the site, to contain a double bay swingset for tots and older kids, a small climber, and some spring toys. Lots of neighbors and businesses chipped in, we brought this to the City, and were awarded a Small and Simple Grant to pursue the project but with lots of preconditions.

One of the preconditions was for a landscape architect to draw a site design. A lovely volunteer architect drew up a site plan and ushered it through the City’s multi-step review process.

The result of the review process was a bit of a shock. The Parks Department folks decided that with all the concrete retaining wall, building drainage, moving irrigation pipes, moving trees, and other hardware stuff, the project is likely to cost on the order of $200,000. Yeah, I know, that’s a little nuts, considering that the equipment itself is less than $20,000!

Their suggestion was to come back and ask the neighborhood – rather than building a new playground, what could we do with the playground we already have to improve it? In the very near future, we will have a big old public meeting to discuss this. I have finally met one single family who loves this playground and we want to hear what they love about it, but we also want to hear from folks who don’t love it, what they’d like to change.

In the meantime, we went ahead and applied for a Neighborhood Matching Fund grant to try to get the money we’d need to build out, but that is only up to $50,000 matching. The meeting on Thursday is to look at the site, discuss options, and talk about preparing the full proposal to the city. We need some warm bodies, with or without children, to come along and demonstrate the difficulties of using this play equipment and talk about what we would like to see done. Please come out and help. Contact me, Betsy, at betsy at hoffmeisters dot com for more information.

Cottage Grove Park is at 5206 26th SW; here’s a map.

Happening today/tonight: Education, transportation, more

February 18, 2009 6:07 am
|    Comments Off on Happening today/tonight: Education, transportation, more
 |   Delridge | Delridge District Council | Fauntleroy | West Seattle politics | West Seattle schools

From the WSB West Seattle Events calendar:

TALK TO YOUR SCHOOL BOARD REP: For the first time since the Seattle School Board approved major changes and closures, West Seattle’s board rep Steve Sundquist will hold one of his regular coffee hours, to talk with, and listen to, anyone interested in education issues (and there are lots more on the horizon, like the start-time changes we mentioned last weekend). 9 am, Coffee to a Tea in The Junction.

HEAR FROM YOUR CITY COUNCIL PRESIDENT: Richard Conlin is one of the guests scheduled for tonight’s meeting of the Delridge Neighborhoods District Council, 7 pm, Youngstown Arts Center. The latest on the Alaskan Way Viaduct/Tunnel project also is on the agenda.

FAUNTLEROY NEIGHBORS UNITE: 6:30 pm at the Fauntleroy Church Fellowship Hall, it’s the all-neighborhood meeting organized by the Fauntleroy Community Association to share updates on issues including Washington State Ferries‘ future and the in-progress purchase of the Fauntleroy Schoolhouse.

West Seattle Crime Prevention Council: 911 explained, and more

From tonight’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting at the Southwest Precinct: As previewed earlier, the leader of SPD’s 911 center was the marquee guest, and the two-dozen-plus turnout was bigger than usual. What he had to say, coming up – but first, a few West Seattle crime notes: Overall, Lt. Steve Paulsen said, car prowls and burglaries jumped back up in January after a relatively quiet December, perhaps weather-related: 147 car prowls, more than 50 burglaries. But he also noted that police have no control over what happens after they’ve made an arrest, recapping the 14 burglary arrests made in the last couple months of the year – with 13 of those suspects back on the streets now. Meantime, the precinct is taking a new community-policing-focused tack with burglaries, having detectives call or visit all burglary victims who file reports, to follow up and to introduce themselves. One more crime note: Lt. Paulsen says last month’s stabbing incident near Riverview Playfield (covered here) was not random; some concerned neighbors were in attendance hoping to find out more about that. (And if you’re wondering, no new information about the unsolved shooting death of Steve Bushaw in The Junction on February 1st.) Now, on to the 911 explanation:Read More