day : 24/02/2009 14 results

West Seattle-residing county assessor under investigation for crash

Thanks to Jules for e-mailing to say citywide media have been staking out the Beach Drive home of King County Assessor Scott Noble since word came out that he is under investigation for possible charges in connection with a head-on freeway crash last month (P-I report here; Times report here, which includes a statement from Noble’s lawyer saying he has been “recovering from injuries” since “an automobile accident in mid-January”). Noble is in his fifth term as county assessor; here’s his biography on the county website.

Update: Viaduct/tunnel open house at Madison MS

We’re at Madison Middle School for the “scoping” open house that’s offering information and taking comments on the proposal to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct‘s “mile in the middle” Central Waterfront section with a “deep-bore tunnel.” Organizers say they’re pleased with the turnout so far – as of 6:30 pm, halfway through, about 120 people had signed in. The photo above, taken from the landing overlooking the area where the meeting’s happening, shows the layout – more or less traditional open house, easels with maps and lists of informational points, not just about the tunnel plan, but also about the funding, the timeline, and related projects such as Seattle Streetcar expansion, Metro RapidRide, and the Spokane Street Viaduct Widening work — project manager Stuart Goldsmith is here on behalf of the SSV and he tells WSB the “notice to proceed” was just issued today by SDOT for the next major part of the project, the new ramp to 4th Ave So. from the eastbound side (aka “express route to Costco”), so you’ll see equipment start arriving for that in the weeks ahead.

We also have a CD with the images that are being displayed around the room here, so we will post selections from that a bit later – in the meantime, if you see this before 7:30, there’s still time to come down and get questions answered from top-level experts (all the folks who delivered the official briefings on the project all along the way are here, including Ron Paananen from WSDOT and Bob Powers from SDOT).

8:24 PM: Almost everybody arrived in the first hour – final attendee total was about 130.

ADDED 10:03 PM: The rest of the story, including links to some of the handouts and infoboards made available tonight:Read More

Junction Association recaps 2008 successes, sets 2009 priorities

Meet the members of the West Seattle Junction Association Board of Directors who were elected/re-elected this morning at a breakfast meeting, and shown above as they posed for the WSB camera afterward with board president Dave Montoure (West 5) — from left, Brandon Nicholson (Nicholson Kovalchick Architects), Lora Lewis (Hotwire Coffee, WSB sponsor), Heather Leaman (Bakery Nouveau), Michael Hoffman (Liberty Bell Printing), Montoure, Doug Baldwin (Windermere Real Estate). The vote was part of an annual meeting that not only recapped the Junction Association’s 2008 successes, but also looked ahead to this year’s priorities — read on for details:Read More

Vacant city-owned lot in Westwood: Thoughts about its future?

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Neighboring property owners apparently got notice of this a few weeks ago, but it just crossed our desk: The vacant site shown above at 34th/Barton (map), just east of the Exxon station, has been deemed “excess to the needs of Seattle Public Utilities,” and the city’s looking for public input before recommending to the City Council what should be done with it: Sell, lease, or hand over to another city department. The comment period closes this Friday; here’s a city document with more details about the site (which is more than 12,000 square feet, zoned single-family 5000), and if you have comments about what should be done with it, contact Richard Gholaghong at 206-684-0621 or By the way, this is just one property on a long list of city properties under review, and other sites on the list are in West Seattle; see the complete list here – it includes this site along Admiral just north of The Bridge, most notable for a huge redwood tree – its status is “pending council review of public-involvement plan.”

Yo, SODO workers: New neighborhood website

We know more than a few WSBers work in SODO – so you might be interested to hear about a new neighborhood-news/info website we were just tipped to: SODO Agogo ( Co-founder Sean tells WSB he and his co-site operators all work at Year of the Monkey but are determined to promote other area businesses and to report on “pretty much anything happening down here, so we can get the information out in front of people, whether it be neighborhood sales, city meetings, transit reroutes, or whatever else.”

West Seattle traffic alert: New ID rules may bring port-area delays

This just in from SDOT:

New Requirements for Worker Credentials in Port Areas May Impact Seattle Traffic

SEATTLE -Seattle drivers may encounter traffic backups on arterial
streets near entries to
several waterfront terminals at the beginning of the work week, on
March 2 and 3. Seattle
Department of Transportation (SDOT) traffic managers anticipate the
terminal sites with the
greatest potential for traffic impacts are:
● Terminal 5 (in West Seattle off of SW Spokane Street),
● Terminal 18 (Harbor Island off of SW Spokane Street), and
● Terminal 46 (off of Alaskan Way S at S Atlantic Street).

Starting Saturday, February 28, the U S Coast Guard will begin enforcing federal requirements for new identification credentials for all truck drivers and other workers entering secured port areas. While the TWIC (Transportation Worker Identification Credentials) card requirement has been widely publicized, it is difficult to estimate how many drivers might arrive on Monday without the card.

Agencies and terminal operators have been working together for several months to prepare for these new regulations. SDOT Commercial Vehicle enforcement officers,
Port of Seattle Police, and terminal managers will be partnering to minimize any traffic disruptions.

Fat Tuesday in West Seattle: Paczki mania at Metropolitan Market

Meet “paczkis” (pronounced “POONCH-keys”). They’re a Polish donut, traditional on Fat Tuesday as Polish Catholic homes’ kitchens were cleaned out of all the bad gluttonous stuff you’re not supposed to have around for Lent. They’re also on sale at Metropolitan Market – and a big crazy event was staged late this morning at the Admiral store to start a new Fat Tuesday tradition. It was supposed to be a paczki-carrying race around the store, and eating contest, but the morning rain forced a change in plan – eating contest only. Competitors came from all around the locally based Metropolitan Market chain; when they were done stuffing their faces, there was a tie, so there had to be an “eat-off” featuring the coaches who’d been cheering the original paczki-eaters on – here’s the entire one and a half minute “eat-off” (the guys in referee shirts, by the way, are Metro Market top brass):

(video no longer available due to shutdown)

The winners: The team from Queen Anne’s Metropolitan Market. Admiral’s home team came in second (led by Preston, whose campaign-style sign you can see in this photo):

P.S. If you’re looking for other signs of Fat Tuesday/Mardi Gras spirit, Talani at Stor-More (WSB sponsor) on Yancy east of Avalon sends word via Facebook that you can stop by for free beads (and candy!).

Longer or shorter hours at your favorite park? Changes proposed

As mentioned briefly toward the end of our report on the Elliott Bay Water Taxi year-round Seacrest dock briefing coming up at this Thursday’s city Parks Board meeting, the board is to be briefed about another notable item: A proposal to change operating hours at many of the city’s parks. Right now, 4 am-11:30 pm is the “standard” for most city parks, but as the briefing paper (see it here) notes, “several dozen exceptions” have been made over the years, and that’s led to some confusion, among the other problems listed in the document’s explanation of why park hours are now under review:

The purpose of this review is to consider 1) standardizing park operating hours so there is less opportunity for confusion about what the operating hours are, 2) alleviating actual and perceived safety issues – alcohol use, graffiti, and noise, 3) demonstrating Parks intention to be good neighbors by limiting negative impacts on our park neighbors, and 4) providing Seattle Police an additional tool for resolving issues in parks. Parks has an ongoing interest in being good neighbors and alleviating late night problems in our parks. Operating hours is one tool available to us and Seattle Police to address issues of noise, graffiti, and alcohol use.

The proposal suggests these hours:

Regional* (Alki and Lincoln Park included) – 4 am –11:30 pm year round
Neighborhood / Pocket – One hour before sunrise to one hour after sunset
Downtown – One hour before sunrise –10:00 pm year round**
Parks with Indoor Facilities (Pools, community centers, ELC’s) – Parking lot hours would coincide with facility operation hours or surrounding park hours, whichever is later.
Boat ramps, Boulevards – Open 24 hours a day
Lighted Athletic Complexes – Governed by lighting / scheduling protocols

To compare the proposed hours with current park-hours exceptions, take a look at the briefing paper, starting on page 5. Among the potential changes under the proposal, Alki, as a “regional park,” would have earlier and later hours in summertime, moving to 4 am-11:30 pm year-round; right now, that’s when it’s open Oct. 2-April 14th, with the hours 6 am-11 pm the rest of the year. According to the briefing paper, public meetings will be scheduled around the city in March and April to talk about the proposed changes; then a public hearing is expected before the Parks Board on May 14th, and a vote on May 28th.

Speaking of the Legislature: PTA’s education rally is Thursday

February 24, 2009 12:45 pm
|    Comments Off on Speaking of the Legislature: PTA’s education rally is Thursday
 |   West Seattle politics | West Seattle schools

Thanks to Mary for e-mailing WSB to share the agenda for Thursday’s Washington State PTA “Focus Day” in Olympia tomorrow – as her note reminds us all, school money isn’t a neighborhood-specific issue, it affects the entire state, and we’ve heard districts such as Seattle Public Schools point out often that, whatever other problems you see in the system, there’s no question that the way school funding works – or doesn’t – is broken. So in case you are interested in participating, here’s the agenda for Thursday, including a noon rally, and a “brown bag” afterward to get briefed on the status of the major education-related bills that are now pending.

Update: Federal money for Spokane Street Viaduct widening?


ORIGINAL 12:26 PM REPORT: According to citywide reports today, the mayor says that when legislative leaders announce this afternoon which projects they plan to earmark for distribution of federal “stimulus” money, the list will NOT include two major city projects – including $25 million sought for the Spokane Street Viaduct widening project adding more lanes to, and changing the ramp configuration of, the stretch of the West Seattle Bridge between 99 and I-5. We have a message out to the mayor’s office to ask where the money is supposed to come from otherwise, or if this would put completion of the project in doubt (early stages have already begun, with the work along lower Spokane St.); the other project that’s reportedly being aced out of stimulus $ is the “Mercer corridor” work planned for the south end of downtown. ADDED 2:41 PM: The mayor’s official statement on the Legislature’s announcement – AND FOLLOWING IT, A 4:06 PM ADDITION: Now there’s a statement that the mayor’s gotten some hope from the governor: AND FOLLOWING THAT, A 5:34 PM ADDITION FROM TWO COUNCILMEMBERS WHO ARE NOT HAPPY WITH THE MAYOR’S REVELATION EARLIER:Read More

Happening tonight: Viaduct/tunnel, Healthy Youth, Little League

February 24, 2009 10:42 am
|    Comments Off on Happening tonight: Viaduct/tunnel, Healthy Youth, Little League
 |   Alaskan Way Viaduct | How to help | West Seattle news | WS & Sports

VIADUCT/TUNNEL: Tonight’s the open house at Madison Middle School – drop by any time between 5:30 and 7:30 pm, express your opinion, ask questions, and get a closer look at exactly how it’s envisioned that traffic flow between West Seattle and downtown (and points beyond) will work under the current proposal. (A similar open house happened in Ballard last night; here’s coverage from our fellow neighborhood-news site; disclosure, WSDOT has an ad running here through tonight to promote the open house.)

HEALTHY YOUTH PARTNERSHIP: At left, coordinator Renae Gaines and chair Phil Tavel, in a photo we took at the last meeting of the Southwest Healthy Youth Partnership, which works to make sure West Seattle-area kids and families have the information they need to grow up safely — in particular, to stay away from alcohol use and abuse. As we reported before the last meeting, the group conducted a West Seattle-wide survey (results here) that turned up some interesting discoveries, including the fact that anti-drinking messages also need to be targeted at families with elementary-age children — before they get into middle school, where peer pressure and alcohol availability can intensify. Tonight’s meeting is at 7 pm at Madison Middle School, and the more people-power they can get to help spread their message throughout the community, the better.

WEST SEATTLE LITTLE LEAGUE: There’s another opportunity for in-person registration tonight – thanks to Cami MacNamara for sharing the news:

West Seattle Little League will be holding the LAST in person registration this evening from 7–9 PM at West Seattle High School , Room 212 ( 3000 California Ave SW ). Please visit for registration forms and payment information. If you are mailing in your registration, all registrations MUST be postmarked by today, February 24th, 2009!

Happening this morning: Generation BIG; Fat Tuesday “race”

GENERATION BIG: A new program aiming to get more adults, especially seniors, involved in Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound is offering info and taking signups this morning at the Senior Center of West Seattle in The Junction, 10 am. Hundreds of kids are waiting to be matched with “Bigs,” and this program makes it easier than ever to help out with a small time commitment each week. See the flyer here.

FAT TUESDAY “RACE”: Metropolitan Market in Admiral is scheduled to be the site of Fat Tuesday fun this morning at 11 am — involving a treat called paczkis, an eating contest, and a run around the building. You’re invited; full details on the market’s events calendar.

Pogo’s odyssey: A lost-dog search takes a wrenching turn

The Hoffmeister family of North Delridge is searching for Pogo, their Papillon, so relentlessly and creatively, they’ve already traced her trail … to a new dead end.

Of all the pets we’ve posted to the Lost/Found section of the WSB Pets page, Pogo’s odyssey is the most agonizing one since the theft and recovery of Butch the Shiba Inu three weeks ago (original WSB report here; followup here).

And according to what Betsy Hoffmeister and family have discovered since Pogo disappeared Friday night, Pogo and Butch seem to have something in common …Read More